With $25 million assigned to an emergency intervention fund for immediate, critical wildlife and habitat survival interventions, a further $25 million has been made available to support wildlife rescue, zoos, Natural Resource Management Groups, Greening Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia.
Conservation Volunteers Australia has been selected to coordinate the national environmental volunteering response to the bushfire crisis. From our experience in other disaster responses, we know that large numbers of people will contribute their time and skills to help with recovery over the many weeks, months and years ahead.
Responding will require efforts at a scale that will only be known once affected areas are declared safe, and damage has been assessed. The sheer scale of the fires, the sensitive nature of many of the areas affected, and the numbers of wildlife that are displaced are enormous. We stand ready to help volunteers to contribute and direct their efforts to recovery actions that will help land, water and wildlife.
Beyond the terrible human and community impacts, we already know that the environmental damage is enormous. Millions of native animals have been lost, many species are under threat and massive areas of habitat have been impacted.
This disaster is going to affect Australia for many years to come.
Bushfire Response & Recovery
We want to acknowledge the incredible work of Australia’s fire-fighting and emergency response services (and teams from overseas who have joined the effort), which is so reliant on volunteers. They have gone above and beyond to save lives, homes, as well as protecting wildlife and important habitat where possible.
In many areas across the country we are still in an emergency phase, whilst other areas are beginning to assess the losses caused by bushfire and plan for recovery.
In Australia (and around the world), people are wanting to take action, however it’s hard to know how to go about it. Conservation Volunteers Australia has a proven track record of getting people involved in environmental restoration action and has the expertise, people and knowledge to support ecological communities that have been affected by the bushfires. We’re working closely with partners in affected regions to make sure people can be involved in this recovery too, when the time is right.
We are developing our plan to make the most effective contribution to the recovery efforts regionally and nationally. This will play a significant role in an immediate environment emergency response and a longer-term environmental recovery led by the regions affected. We expect that we will be providing thousands of volunteering opportunities for the significant work needed in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Register Your Interest
Please register your interest in bushfire recovery with us via our form, and we will contact you as soon as opportunities for supporting bushfire recovery become available.I'm Interested in Bushfire Recovery
If you are an organisation interested in corporate volunteering, please register your interest here.
If your organisation is involved in recovery efforts and needs support for that work, you can get in touch to request support here.I Need Support with Bushfire Recovery
Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) was founded in 1982 in Ballarat, Victoria, to enable people to plant trees on weekends. In 2020, CVA operates around the country, enabling thousands of volunteers to get involved with practical conservation activities to nurture stronger communities and resilient ecosystems. We are Australia’s community engagement experts.
CVA supports people from all walks of life across Australia to get involved in activities that protect and restore the environment. In doing so, we have built a strong practice around community engagement, safe participation, and capacity building to support people in how to care for their environment.
We have been heavily involved in past crisis and recovery activities across Australia and New Zealand. From bushfire recovery to floods and oil spills, we’ve been on the front line of community responses to emergencies, as well as shoulder-to-shoulder with the communities in their recovery efforts. We’ve worked in Victoria after Black Saturday, Queensland for the 2010-2011 floods and the Bay of Plenty at the Rena Oil Spill.
From our experience in these disaster responses, we know that large numbers of people will selflessly contribute their time and skills to help with recovery over the many weeks, months and years ahead. Responding will require efforts at a scale that will only be known once affected areas are declared safe, and damage has been assessed. The sheer scale of the fires, the sensitive nature of many of the areas affected, and the numbers of wildlife that are displaced are enormous. We stand ready to help volunteers to contribute and direct their efforts to recovery actions that will help land, water and wildlife.
What We’re Doing
In addition to working with partners across bushfire affected regions to determine how we can assist in recovery efforts, we’ve also identified the first projects we’re getting started on immediately.
Project 1: South Australia: Kangaroo Island
We’re working with partners in Kangaroo Island in the early phases of establishing a new native plant nursery to assist the existing nursery on the island. A large scale of additional plants will be needed to re-establish critical habitat for endangered species such as Black Glossy Cockatoo, the short-beaked Echidna, the Southern Brown Bandicoot and the Kangaroo Island Dunnart. We have launched a fundraising appeal for this project and volunteer opportunities will become available once the nursery is established.
Project 2: NSW: Western Sydney & Blue Mountains
Whilst the fires are still active in the area and we’re unable to start any restoration works, we know that re-establishing critical habitat for wildlife will be important. As a first step, we’re working with partners to create restoration activities in the fire affected areas of the Blue Mountains. Once the fire grounds are safe, our projects can begin during the planting season to maximise the chance of survival of these new plants.
Fundraising for Community and Ecological Recovery
We know that despite the incredible initial generosity of people from around the world who have been shocked by the events unfolding in Australia, this funding often goes into the initial crisis response, and very early recovery efforts, but not into the longer-term recovery with the human and ecological communities.
We currently have two funds that people can donate to. Please support however you are able:
This appeal will support the establishment and operation of a native plant nursery on the west of Kangaroo Island, which has suffered catastrophic effects from bushfires this year.
Supporting communities aiming to re-establish and protect surviving habitat, and rebuild their personal and community connections.
This emergency is on-going and human safety is paramount. We are mindful of the significant ongoing impact on communities affected by the bushfires, and will make volunteering opportunities available in conjunction with local partners when the areas are safe to re-enter and local partners have the capacity to engage.
Our absolute priority is volunteer and staff safety at this stage. Please do not approach active fire grounds without contacting appropriate emergency response organisations.
What We’re Not Doing
We are not involved in crisis response, although some of our staff are active members of the Firefighting community.
If you have enquiries about our bushfire response, please contact us on:
Freecall 1800 032 501 (within Australia)
+61 3 5330 0200 from anywhere in the world