CO2 Australia has recently completed the planting of over half a million native trees through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
The 20 Million Trees Programme — an Australian Government initiative that is part of the National Landcare Programme — is designed to protect and restore the environment and make agriculture more sustainable and productive.
Together with project partners NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, CO2 Australia is delivering the project within Dthinna Dthinnawan National Park, which is located in the Nandewar Bioregion.
The Aboriginal phrase ‘Dthinna Dthinnawan’ (pronounced Dinna Dinna-wah) means ‘place for emu footprint’. The project focuses on restoring hundreds of hectares of old sheep station country, which was incorporated into the park in 2009 by the NSW Government. Despite a long history of agricultural use, the properties are home to a variety of native animals, including turtles, wedge tail eagles and, not surprisingly, emus. Importantly, the National Park protects more than 20 species of threatened animal species, including the endangered zigzag velvet gecko, squatter pigeon, delicate mouse, black-striped wallaby and hairy-nosed freetail bat.
By planting a mix of locally endemic species, including poplar box, apple box and ironbark, the project will help reconnect patches of remnant vegetation and improve fauna movement and genetic flow, which will in turn improve these unique ecosystems to respond to natural disasters and threatening processes.
“Although the unseasonably heavy rainfall, resulting in local flooding experienced during planting in early October certainly provided its challenges, CO2 Australia is no stranger to successfully delivering revegetation projects under all sorts of challenging environmental conditions. And the upside of all the rain means that the trees have the best chance of thriving”, said Christopher Ewing, CO2 Australia’s project manager.
CO2 Australia is also currently in the process of developing a Memorandum of Understanding with TAFE New England to facilitate training opportunities for Indigenous students from Toomelah who are undertaking a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management.
“As part of this training we are giving hands on training to the students in skills such as weed control, revegetation and monitoring techniques. One of the students will then be offered a cadetship with CO2 Australia to assist with monitoring of this project and possibly another of our 20 Million Tree projects in southern Queensland. We are extremely pleased with the interest and enthusiasm shown by the students to date.” said Mr Ewing.
Mr Ewing said CO2 Australia will also be providing opportunities in the near future for local landholders and community groups to get involved in the project, including a community planting day, information sessions and workshops. “We are very keen to hear from anyone who would like to actively get involved in the project in some way”.