CVA Updates

Conservation Volunteers Australia and Chevron renew partnership for Revive our Wetlands and Urban Shade Forest projects

CVA is pleased to announce the renewal of its partnership with Chevron Australia and the addition of premium fuel brand Caltex Australia, which is also a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, to continue the national Revive our Wetlands and Urban Shade Forest initiatives. The $4.2 million dollar commitment will enable us to build on the work we’ve already done to restore biodiversity in 10 ecologically important wetlands and two communities at high risk of urban heat stress around Australia over the past 3 years.

For more than 17 years, Conservation Volunteers and Chevron have worked together to protect the local environment through workplace volunteering and community programs.

Over the life of our partnership, we’ve made great progress at restoring wetlands and other significant environmental sites, with almost 20,000 volunteers helping us plant more than 455,000 plants and trees, manage 218ha of invasive weeds and collect more than 14 tons of litter, but there’s still so much to do.

Through the renewed partnership, $3.3 million dollars has been committed to continuing the Revive our Wetlands initiative, and $900,000 has been committed to continuing and expanding the Urban Shade Forest project for a further 3 years, including adding an additional forest in a high-risk community.

Why Wetlands?

Coastal wetlands act as blue carbon systems, and freshwater wetlands as teal carbon systems, which both have the potential to store carbon. So together with Chevon Australia, CVA is aiming to restore and protect wetlands across Australia under the Revive campaign.

Australia is home to 66 Ramsar listed wetlands of significance across the country, covering more than 8.3 million hectares.

Wetlands make up just 6 percent of the Earth’s surface, but despite their small footprint, wetlands are critical in providing fresh water and habitats. They also reduce the impacts of floods and improve water quality, as well as being home to a wide variety of native animals, fish, and plants. Many of which are unique to the wetland environment.

Despite their significance, since 1970, around 35% of wetlands have been lost globally. Wetlands are now the most threatened ecosystem in the World and are disappearing at a rate three times faster than forests.

CVA chief executive officer Phil Harrison said wetlands are among the most productive and biodiverse ecosystems in the world, and growing global research is unlocking their potential as natural carbon sequestration and storage systems.

“Australia’s wetlands play a vital role in protecting coasts from storms and flooding, maintaining water quality, filtering pollutants, sequestering carbon, and supporting biodiversity. Unfortunately, though, we’ve already lost more than 70% of these incredibly important ecosystems.” said Harrison.

“Since launching the initiative in 2021, we’ve made great progress at our wetland sites, but there’s still so much to do. This continued, significant investment from Chevron Australia enables us to continue our critical wetland restoration work and further strengthen their biodiversity.”

CVA and Chevron Australia are engaging communities to connect with each other, and with nature by learning about the significance of wetlands for the well-being of our planet and our people. We aim to inspire people to take action to improve the health of wetland ecosystems because we know that humans play a vital role in creating a thriving future for our planet.

Why Urban Shade Forests?

As summer heatwaves become more frequent, urban neighbourhoods with low levels of shade and high levels of concrete and bitumen stay hotter for longer, especially overnight. This is what is known as the Urban Heat Island Effect.

Local governments and health authorities across Australia are increasingly concerned about the impacts of high overnight temperatures in these heat islands, as they have can serious health implications for vulnerable people, and increase energy use, putting stress on energy supply networks.

The Urban Shade Forest project is aimed at reducing the impact of this growing problem by planting trees to put shade back into high-risk communities, in the form of an Urban Shade Forest – areas of densely native plants in and around urban communities with low shade coverage.

Additionally, about half of Australia’s threatened species live in urban areas, so our Urban Shade Forests also play a vital role in providing habitat for urban wildlife, and they also provide cool and inviting spaces for people to spend time in nature, which we know benefits human well-being.

Chevron Australia were the founding partner of this initiative; helping us to create our Urban Shade Project roadmap and implementation plan, including a literature review to identify most at-risk communities and the installation of the first two Urban Shade Forests.

This renewed and expanded commitment will add another Urban Shade Forest to the project (location TBC), complementing the recently planted forest in Dandenong Victoria and the soon to be planted forests in Rockingham, WA, which will both see continued support as part of the ongoing partnership.

In summing up the importance of this partnership, Phil Harrison said “At CVA, we aim to have impact at scale by focusing on biodiversity restoration; the health of oceans, rivers, and wetlands; to do this, we need partners to help us amplify our impact.”

“Flagship, multi-year partnerships, such as the one with Chevron Australia are transformational in impact and help us create changes on some of the most significant environmental challenges we face.”

Proudly supported by our partners

Chevron & Caltex