In the Guardian: ‘This is how it should be’: replanting the Daintree rainforest

 In Buyback, Conservation, Events, Fauna, Flora, News, Rescue, Restoration, Tree Planting, Volunteers
Andrew John Solomon, a Kuku Yalanji traditional owner of the Daintree, which was regenerated by Rainforest Rescue over a 10 year period. Photo by Sean Davey/Guardian

Andrew John Solomon, a Kuku Yalanji traditional owner of the Daintree, which was regenerated by Rainforest Rescue over a 10 year period. Photo by Sean Davey/Guardian

Australia’s world-heritage listed Daintree rainforest teems with unique flora and fauna, including one of the rarest and most primitive flowering plants in the world. It spans 120sq km and is estimated to be 180 million years old, but in recent years logging and sugarcane fields have threatened this natural wonder. Now an ambitious ‘buy back’ scheme is set to bring the rainforest back to life
by Sean Davey
As Andrew Solomon looks up at the rainforest canopy on Kuku Yalanji land near Cape Tribulation, his eyes start to water.

“When I first came back, I felt someone was following me. I could feel a presence. I wasn’t wearing any shoes and all of a sudden I felt a bolt of electricity come up through me from the ground. It was country speaking to me, it was welcoming me back.”

Solomon is a traditional owner of Kuku Yalanji land in the Daintree rainforest, in far north Queensland. The world heritage-listed area, in Cape York on the northern peninsula of Australia, is thought to be one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
Portrait of Kuku Yalanji man Andrew Solomon.

 

In the 1980s, parts of the Daintree were subdivided, with more than 1,000 lots allocated for private sale and development. Thirty-five years on, without basic infrastructure such as mains power or water, life in this remote part of far north Queensland can be as harsh as it is beautiful for its occupants.

On the 1 May this year, Solomon performed a special Welcome to Country ceremony on what has long been known as “Lot 46”, a freehold, 28-hectare block of land north of the Daintree River that was bought by Rainforest Rescue in 2010.


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