Rainforest to Reef
In far northern Queensland, a new partnership brings real conservation action to the fight to protect the Daintree Lowlands and rescue our Great Barrier Reef…
by Madeleine Faught
** This article originally appeared in the PXLEXPLORERERS cS 01 Subscribers Newsletter – find out more about this wonderful publication here. And find out more about Canon Master, Darren Jew, and his efforts to protect Nature through his work here.
When two World Heritage areas lie immediately adjacent to one another, there is bound to be some level of interaction between them. This is certainly the reality of far north Queensland’s Wet Tropics Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. The GBReef and the Daintree Rainforest share a number of similarities, aside from their location. Both of these stunningly beautiful areas are blessed with significant levels of biodiversity. Both have life forms that exist nowhere else on the planet. Both are internationally recognised as remarkable and critically important ecosystems to protect – both for now and for the future
We know that these two important ecosystems offer a great deal to the well being of their surrounding areas. But they also share a symbiotic relationship that is vitally important, and this relates towater – specifically to water quality.
The Daintree Rainforest has attracted the moniker of ‘Where The Rainforest Meets The Sea’. Nowhere else on the Wet Tropics coastline does intact rainforest occur all the way from the uplands to the coast. The high volume of rain this entire region experiences moves through this rainforest catchment, ultimately making its way to the sea, and the reef. An intact rainforest acts as a filter, ensuring that only freshwater runs off into the catchment.
Rainforest Rescue fundraises to buy back andprotect vulnerable intact rainforest that is not already part of the national park area. They are also involved in large restoration projects on degraded rainforest landscapes in order to bring these back to dynamic rainforest. In the past fifteen years, Rainforest Rescue has planted over 200,000 rainforest trees in the Daintree lowlands in their restoration projects.
The interaction of rainforest to reef has grown into an organisational interaction between Rainforest Rescue and Great Barrier Reef Legacy. The GBRL uses real science to monitor the state of the reef. Rainforest Rescue recognise how important it is to contribute to positive outcomes for these two World Heritage sites, and the clear water connection between them.
“Rainforest and reef are linked… by water. In the Daintree lowlands ancient trees hold aloft a continuous canopy that protects the land and soil… right to the fringe of stream and reef. Here, evolution is not a memory, it is alive and nurtured by clean, clear, water.” – Dr Robert Kooyman, Scientific Advisor, Rainforest Rescue.
It is fantastic that our two conservation groups are now teaming up to expand positive outcomes and awareness of the interconnectivity between the reef and the rainforest in Australia and the world. The reef and the rainforest are two of the most important and diverse ecosystems on the planet and we must all pull together to secure a healthy world and economy.” – John Rumney, Great Barrier Reef Legacy
For more information on Great Barrier Reef Legacy and the amazing work they’re doing, visit www.greatbarrierreeflegacy.org