19 March 2020
Welcome to the latest newsletter about the environmental volunteering response for bushfire recovery.
Since our last newsletter, COVID-19 has arrived to our shores prompting a range of measures from the Australian Government aimed to reduce the speed of the spread, and enable health services to continue to provide care and avoid overwhelm.
Indeed, this week at Conservation Volunteers Australia we suspended all of our in-person volunteering due to COVID-19.
At this unprecedented time, we urge everyone to pay attention to health authorities when it comes to caring for yourselves and other people in your community. Perhaps instead of meeting up in groups, you can enjoy solo or socially-distant time out in nature to maintain your health and wellbeing.
In the last newsletter we shared a timeline for volunteer referrals, which is now obviously not going to be possible due to COVID-19.
Given the goal right now is to slow the spread of Coronavirus, we have made the call that advertising in-person group volunteering activities will be suspended for the foreseeable future, until the pandemic has receded.
If you had signed up for one of the events from a previous newsletter you should be hearing from the teams in charge about that postponement shortly.
We are working on creative ways for people to be involved with the recovery, in line with latest health health guidelines, so stay tuned for more information on that in the next newsletter.
At this time, we can only suggest the following activity as a way to get outside, but maintain ‘social distance’ as per the advice of health authorities:
Citizen Science opportunity – (NOTE: Do not enter fire zones unless they have been declared safe) photograph regrowth, animals and insects returning after bushfires for UNSW and the Centre for Ecosystem Science – take a look on UNSW website
Stories of Recovery
This is a round-up of some of the stories of wildlife and habitat recovery from around the country.
Evan & Renae from Conservation Volunteers Australia share a recovery update from the fire ground in NSW covering some of their insights from speaking with groups across fire affected areas, to establish the scope and urgency of the need for recovery support from volunteers.
These are curated notices about the environmental recovery work which may be useful to you or someone you know.
All organisations engaging with groups of people must understand and act on health advice for COVID-19. You can find out more on the Department of Health’s COVID-19 hub.
Many thanks again for tuning in and for wanting to help in the environmental response to the bushfires.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will aim to publish the next newsletter in a month’s time. With everything happening, perhaps one less piece of communication jostling for your attention will be welcome.
We hope you’re able to get into the bush and breathe instead. And don’t forget, we’re in this together.
In your service,
Sam and the Conservation Volunteers Bushfire Recovery Team
Conservation Volunteers is the national coordinator for the environmental volunteering response to the bushfires – https://conservationvolunteers.com.au/bushfires
Check our FAQ about the recovery work, or contact us if you want to ask us questions or have ideas which aren’t addressed – https://conservationvolunteers.com.au/bushfires/bushfire-recovery-faq