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Rejuvenating Communities by Planting Trees in Australia

by Gabrielle Clawson September 07, 2023 3 min read

rejuvanation trees
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Healing People By Healing the Land

As the climate continues to change, indigenous people are at the forefront of the fight to protect the planet. When land is degraded from human activity or natural disasters, many of these communities feel the brunt of the damage. Many of our projects empower indigenous communities to restore sacred lands and combat climate change.

This project is an indigenous-led initiative, with the Esperence-Tjaltraak community, to restore and rejuvenate vital lands in Australia. It is working to restore the health of people and country by rejuvenating the songlines (cultural corridors) of the local Wudjari people. Let’s dive into the powerful impacts associated with these efforts.

Indigenous-Led Initiative to Rejuvenate Land & Culture

The Rejuvenation Trees project is planting 450,000 trees in 2023. This is the first phase of a multi-year project to plant 4 million trees across the site –– a former wheat farm.

The planting site is completely indigenous-owned, and is working to protect the songlines of the land. The songlines of First Nations carry culture including stories, language and maps, interwoven with the stars and landscape. They are passed from generation to generation.

Healing native songlines began in Western Australia where the ancestors of the Kepa Kurl Wudjari people successfully managed the country sustainably for thousands of years. This project seeks to bring indigenous people closer to the land and their culture through restoration and healing.

After generations of land degradation and exploitation of culture, the Rejuvenation Trees project is empowering the local Wudjari people to rediscover their value as individuals and as part of a vibrant community, allowing their culture to shine bright. 

Ecological Benefits

Over millions of years, a staggering diversity of plants and animals have evolved in Western Australia, and many of these incredible flora and fauna can be found nowhere else on earth. Wudjari country sits within the Southwest Western Australia ecoregion, one of Earth's biodiversity hotspots.

The eco-region includes 800,000 hectares of iconic western woodlands as well as a magnificent, island-studded coastline and an abundance of rare and ancient sandplain communities, including the endangered Kwongan Shrubland.

Since European settlement, the natural abundance of biodiversity has been severely impacted by clearing for agriculture and the modern chemical-rich approach to broad-acre cropping. This has led to soil and ground-water degradation, causing the loss of native vegetation. This has restricted the movement of native animals that have evolved to roam far and wide.

By planting trees across these lands, not only will indigenous people be empowered by taking back their land culture, there will also be significant ecological benefits. This project will help to create a sanctuary within the planting area as the trees grow and habitat becomes established, linking to other forested areas and creating a wildlife corridor. The soil will also be improved with each tree, allowing regenerative agriculture to be established. The trees will also sequester a significant amount of carbon, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and cool the microclimate.

Across the world, Indigenous communities are the last line of defense for our remaining wild places. With their intrinsic connection to the land, they are leading this fight, and we must do what we can to support and protect them and their rich culture and history. You can help make an impact today by planting trees!

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$ USD

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Gabrielle Clawson
Gabrielle Clawson

Gabrielle helps with fundraising and marketing, working with peer-to-peer fundraising as well as business fundraising. With experience in both women's rights and climate change organizations, she has a strong passion for non-profits and is excited to make an impact in the world through environmental change!