Earlier this month the Queensland Government announced the first tranche of funding under its $500 million Land Restoration Fund. $93 million was awarded to 21 projects that store land carbon, protect wildlife habitat, and provide other co-benefits. The Land Restoration Fund was established to provide co-benefits to Queenslanders by reducing carbon emissions, protecting koalas, restoring native forests, improving water quality flowing to the Great Barrier Reef, and creating jobs in regional Queensland. Projects range from Cape York to the state’s South-West.
The commitment was originally made by Queensland Labor in the lead up to the 2017 state election, the same election where the party committed to end deforestation and introduce strong protections for forests and bushland across the sunshine state.
These commitments were the result of years of policy advocacy and public campaigning by organisations including The Wilderness Society, World Wildlife Fund Australia and the Queensland Conservation Council as part of the national Tree-Clearing Alliance.
The power of collaboration
The campaign would not have been possible without the support and funding of the Tree Clearing Challenge organised by the Purves Environment Fund and supported by 28 AEGN members.
This announcement is a powerful example of the impact of funding advocacy and campaign work. The $1.7 million of philanthropic investment by the Tree Clearing Challenge, leveraged a pledged $500 million of investment by the Queensland Government. In addition, the accompanying laws are estimated to have saved tens of millions of hectares of forests and bushland across Queensland. That is an incredible return and something our members should feel very proud to be part of.