Action 3.1: Empower volunteers and support community contributions to World Heritage management

The issue to be addressed

There is an incredible amount of social capital in the Wet Tropics region. Volunteers play an important role in protecting and rehabilitating the World Heritage Area for future generations. Community organisations contribute skills and labour to a variety of activities, making them a vital and substantial partner in conservation. They participate in projects ranging from field studies to rehabilitating important corridors to allow movement of wildlife and dispersal of plants. Community organisations and volunteers require information, resources and support to undertake their work and remain sustainable. The Authority currently supports over 20 community organisations and actively promotes volunteer recruitment activities. Whilst there are a number of long-term, highly dedicated organisations (such as TREAT), volunteers often burn out and community organisations are left seeking new members.

Action we will take

The Authority will:

  • develop or deepen partnerships with existing community organisations to enhance and promote volunteer opportunities across the Wet Tropics
  • engage with organisations that can help boost training, development and career pathway opportunities for volunteers
  • support citizen science and junior ranger group initiatives in the Wet Tropics
  • disseminate and make available credible, up-to-date information and advice about World Heritage management to help manage external threats and impacts
  • celebrate the great work of community organisations and volunteers through events (e.g. Cassowary Awards) and publications.

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