National Coordinator of Environmental Recovery Volunteering
Conservation Volunteers Australia was selected by the Australian Government to coordinate the national environmental volunteering response to the bushfire crisis.
From our experience with other disasters and recovery initiatives, we know that people want to help - contributing their time and skills to help with recovery over the many months and years ahead.
Recovery from the 2019-2020 fires will require efforts at a scale which we have not experienced before. The sheer magnitude of the fires, the sensitive nature of many of the areas affected, and the range of wildlife that have been displaced is enormous.
We have been working to put in place the foundations for an effective recovery response from people who want to contribute and direct their efforts to action that will help land, water and wildlife.
Beyond the terrible human and community impacts, we already know that the environmental damage is enormous. Millions of native animals have been lost, many species are under threat and massive areas of habitat have been impacted.
About Bushfire Response & Recovery
We acknowledge the incredible work of Australia’s fire-fighting and emergency response services (and teams from overseas who joined the effort), which itself is reliant on volunteers. They went above and beyond to save lives, homes, as well as protecting wildlife and important habitat where possible.
Much of the country is still assessing the losses caused by bushfire and planning for recovery, unfortunately many initiatives have been slowed by COVID-19, as
Conservation Volunteers Australia has a proven track record of getting people involved in environmental restoration action and has the expertise, people and knowledge to support ecological communities that have been affected by the bushfires. We’re working closely with partners in affected regions to make sure volunteers can be involved in this recovery too, when the time is right.
We are developing our plan to make the most effective contribution to the recovery efforts regionally and nationally. This will play a significant role in an immediate environment emergency response and a longer-term environmental recovery led by the regions affected. We expect that we will be providing thousands of volunteering opportunities for the significant work needed in the weeks, months and years ahead.
This assessment is on-going and human safety is paramount. Many fire grounds are still closed to the public as they are unsafe.
We are mindful of the significant ongoing impact on communities affected by the bushfires, and will make volunteering opportunities available in conjunction with local partners when the areas are safe to re-enter and local partners have the capacity to engage.
Our absolute priority is volunteer and staff safety at this stage.
Please do not approach fire grounds without contacting appropriate emergency response organisations.