In April, the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) hosted their annual FNQ Roundtable in Atherton. The Roundtable was held on the land of the Wadjanbarra Yidinji First Nations, who shared their concerns about protecting and caring for their country.
Representatives from over a dozen organisations and community groups attended, showcasing the diversity of interests and activity across the region. Friends of the Earth FNQ also sent some delegates, sharing our projects such as Guardians of the Wet Tropics and Cassowary Keystone Conservation.
The event was a great opportunity to get together, share resources, look for common ground and plan for the future. There are many groups working on habitat and species protection, bush regeneration or water quality projects, all with shared goals about restoring the ecological health of the Far North. These groups are working hard, using their community resources, and volunteer efforts to achieve local conservation outcomes.
The Roundtable was also good exercise to identify areas that could benefit greater community effort. More resources, access to training and increased collaboration were highlighted as immediate needs. There was a strong desire from representatives to build networks and relationships with organisations from other sectors, with First Nations and with businesses, landowners and farmers. Making connections with people in the community who might be interested in working as part of a wider collaboration.
We often hear how special this region is, with two stunning World heritage Areas, and the lands of Cape York and the Gulf supporting a huge diversity of wildlife. There are few places left on earth that compare to the region. But much of this land, and the rivers and now the reef is damaged by poor management, habitat loss and now climate change. It’s not a magic pudding, we need to give back and work towards restoring our environment, particularly as the climate is rapidly changing. If you are interested, then pleased get involved in the many projects underway, they are fun and a rewarding way to connect with your local community. CAFNEC is a great resource for information, resources and support if you need assistance or they can direct you to a group in your area. See www.cafnec.org.au Otherwise come along to a FoE meeting and get involved in one of our local campaigns.
NEXT FoE FNQ MEETING: We meet monthly. All welcome. Your voice is powerful- help us to protect this special area. To find out how to join the meeting, please contact Margaret on 0403214422 or email [email protected]