The Latch has partnered with HP Australia to better inform you about the impact of deforestation.
Heaven on earth. That’s how a journalist described Bellingen, a tiny coastal town just a 30-minute drive from Coffs Harbour, NSW. But that was in 2015, and a lot’s changed since then.
Though many of its creeks remain pristine, and its forests relatively untouched, sections of Bello, as the locals call it, and its surrounds are being bulldozed nearly every day.
I saw a site that had recently been logged first-hand when I visited, as a guest of WWF Australia and HP Australia. HP partnered with WWF to restore, protect and save 21,000 acres of forest from deforestation, including 1500 acres of koala habitat.
The once-dense forest, filled with wildlife and a diverse variety of greenery, was bare — with just tree stumps, and no shade from the glaring sun. With the knowledge that 300,000 trees around Australia are being bulldozed every day — that’s 1 tree every second — and that Eastern Australia is among 24 global deforestation fronts, the only developed nation on the list, I found walking through the Bellingen site a truly sobering experience.
Thoughts eddied through my head: How was this allowed? Was it necessary for society? And what could I do about it?
“There’s a common misconception Australia can bulldoze trees if we replant them,” says Dr Stuart Blanch, Conservationist at WWF Australia. “Restoring the forests we’ve lost is important, but it’s imperative to stop deforestation in the first place and to protect the forests that remain.”
For Australia to meet its goal of halting and reversing deforestation by 2030, we need to act now. So, what can you and I do? I chatted to Dr Blanch, and did some research of my own, to find out just what we can do to help Aussie nature — all from the comfort of our own homes.
Sign the Petition
It is in fact possible for Australia to become a nation that not only protects and preserves its trees, but also leads the way in sustainable tree management and conservation, says Dr Blanch. You can help us achieve that by showing your support and signing this petition here. Remember every voice counts.
Think Before You Buy
Buy from companies with sustainability initiatives, like HP, which create products with recycled materials, and only what you need. Also, choose FSC-certified paper products that are recycled or come from responsibly managed forests.
“Make purchasing decisions with sustainability in mind — everything from paper products to technology,” says Dr Blanch. “Also, look for Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) timer and paper products — these are more forest friendly.”
Plant Native Trees
Another thing you can do that’ll help protect Australia’s nature is to plant native trees around your home or area and provide habitat to local wildlife. Some Australian native plants and trees that you can add to your home balcony or garden to attract wildlife and insects include gum tree (eucalyptus), banksia and bottlebrush. You can find other wildlife-welcoming plant species here.
Finally, stay informed, says Dr Blanch. “Many Aussies are unaware that Australia is a deforestation hotspot,” he says.
“Check out the WWF Trees Scorecard to learn more and talk to your family and friends to spread the word.”