As members of the Sustainability Committee, we’d like to make you aware of the Environmental Project Finder which is a website providing extensive volunteering opportunities to help increase awareness and improve the current levels of biodiversity and social environments across Australia. The website includes free and easy-to-use apps to help you get involved.
One major project included is about bushfire recovery, which seeks to map Australia’s biodiversity after bushfire devastation. ‘Victoria’s bushfire emergency: Biodiversity response and recovery’ Project aims to collect data on species affected by bushfires. Participants are asked to take photos of areas impacted by bushfires across Victoria, especially ones depicting the recovery of those areas. This information is crucial in providing insight into the healing of ecosystems, acting to aid both conservation and recovery efforts.
Relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the ‘FluTracking’ Project is a large, community-based system run by the Australian and New Zealand governments. Its purpose is to inform the community about the spread of flu-like illnesses across the two countries. With the aim of determining the burden of these illnesses on local communities, this project allows health officials to be alerted of the transmission and severity of a variety of potentially fatal diseases. This is achieved through the use of their website www.flutracking.net that prompts users to fill out a 10-15 second survey. Even if users do not feel unwell or do not exhibit any symptoms, people are encouraged to participate – more than 140,000 Australians and New Zealanders are already taking part. Participating in this survey will make it easier for the monetisation of protection programs against these diseases.
‘Butterflies Australia’ is another research project led by the Australian National University which began in October 2019. The project, which involves the recording of butterfly sightings, will contribute to research into the conservation of butterfly species. Despite how beloved butterflies are, there are many things we don’t know about them, including how many species of butterflies are in existence and if those numbers are declining. To get involved, you simply need to download the ‘Butterflies Australia’ app. By using this app, you will be able to inform researchers about what types of species live in your area, which will assist in the conservation of butterfly species.
By getting involved in programs like these, conservation and social improvement efforts can reach new heights of participation and overall impact. The website’s easily accessible projects allow more people to contribute to initiatives, which is an important development for local communities and global environment sustainability. This can only be achieved through everyone playing their part.
If you would like to get involved in some of these projects, please follow the link here.
Written by Sehnil Nawar (Year 11), Holly Gottlieb (Year 11) and Urszula Nowak (Year 11)