Charging up for Conservation


Sitting between the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Areas in Far North Queensland is the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. Hosting ancient rainforest with a genetic lineage going back 135 million years, this remarkable place is under significant threat from climate change and development.

Rainforest Rescue has rescued 30 vulnerable rainforest properties and we have planted over 100,000 trees to regenerate forest in the Daintree.

Powering this planting effort is Rainforest Rescue's Native Nursery. All trees propagated here grow from seeds collected from over 30 local rainforest reserves. We've grown over 210 species - including 16 prehistoric trees - all by hand from seed.

* Daintree School Children at the Nursery after helping to paint the Secure Container

Our last Project saw a strong and immediate call to arms by Let's Act donors. Rainforest Rescue was able to, thanks to you, install a secure container unit to store our valuable Nursery equipment. Local school children painted a mural on the container to help it blend better into the rainforest as part of our community engagement program. We were also donated solar panels and batteries as part of the project.

Now that this is complete; we need to ensure our Rangers and volunteers can research document species and communicate at high speed through installing and connecting a modem. Unfortunately the donated battery system has been impacted by the harsh tropical environment and are no longer working. So, we're now looking for a new, energy efficient battery system to connect to the panels. Once connected we'll install a small aerial to boost mobile signal. The final elements are to install a secure gate at the entrance and security cameras to make sure we video the passing Cassowaries! This will ensure the Native Nursery is completely solar-charged up, secure and connecting us with the world at large.

Social Impact

The Daintree is a remnant of the oldest rainforest in the world with a lineage going back 70 million years before the extinction of the dinosaurs. Tragically, the last thirty years of land clearance, introduction of non-native invasive species and inappropriate development have undermined the conservation of this unique and truly beautiful place.(Below: aerial shot of the Daintree)

The Daintree Native Nursery plays an important role in helping re-wild this special place. It not only grows trees for reforestation projects but ensures more food for the rare precious and vulnerable fauna such as the Southern Cassowary. Now that we have installed solar panels; the new batteries will drive this renewable power in increasing productivity of the nursery whilst keeping a small footprint.

We estimated seedling propagation could increase by 40% if the last project was funded. We are already seeing that this increase in production is moving in the right direction. Although new batteries are needed to charge up the solar panels/ electricity; the fact that we have places to lock up our equipment and computers means that the Rangers and volunteers can get straight to work documenting and propagating without needing to waste time going back and forth off-site to access this equipment.

Many local people benefit from the reforestation of the area: volunteers, rangers, indigenous groups and the wider Daintree community. We have great engagement with the local Daintree schools in helping and learning about the rainforest at the nursery. However, the impact is much wider since this is an internationally important habitat with many endangered and unique species that need protection. Last year a new cancer drug was developed from a tree that is found only in this area.

The Southern Cassowary on Rainforest Rescue land with trees grown from the Nursery which is food for these birds.

Track Record

The best way to gauge a not for profit's credibility is whether they can honestly and transparently put funding where it was promised. Rainforest Rescue has done just this; in installing the panels and transporting, setting up and painting the secure Container. These photos show that even though serious and positive impact was created with your funding; fun was also had along the way! This photo below shows the close to completed artwork on the Container.

Set up as a charity, Rainforest Rescue has been protecting and restoring rainforests since 1998. Our HQ is in the NSW Northern Rivers and we have a team up in the Daintree. Rainforest Rescue is on the Australia Government’s Register of Environmental Organisations endorsed as Deductible Gift Recipients by the Australian Taxation Office

We work in partnership with organizations around the world to protect threatened rainforest and have planted over 250,000 rainforest trees globally, including in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Ecuador.

In Australia alone we’ve bought back and protected forever over 135 hectares of high-biodiversity threatened rainforest. Our focus is creating wildlife corridors that reconnect habitat to give resilience against threats such as deforestation and climate change.

Rescued rainforest is restored and development rights are stripped from the land – helping Protect Rainforests Forever.

Hurdles to overcome

With an average of over 2m of rain every year and incredibly hot through mostly all seasons, this is ideal weather for trees and growth. However not so great for equipment exposed to these conditions.

Ensuring a new, weather proof battery is able to charge up the installed solar panels will mean that this electricity is possible at the Nursery finally. We must make sure that the battery is of the highest qulaity and protection to withstand the harsh battering from the rainforest heat and wet.

Our Rangers and volunteers will be able to communicate with the outside world and importantly capture data on spreadsheets versus mouldy old notebooks.

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