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Australia’s oldest environmental agency thanks its 1,200 volunteers
15 December 2004

Melbourne: More than 1,200 volunteers were recognized by Trust for Nature, an environmental non-profit organization for International Volunteer Day on 5 December in Melbourne, Australia.

Without its volunteers, Trust for Nature would be unable to fulfil its mission of protecting Australia’s bushland and much of the country’s environmental heritage would be lost to land development, clearing or biodiversity loss due to foreign pests and plants.

“Trust for Nature sincerely thanks all of its volunteers, without whom the organization essentially could not function,” Trust for Nature Director, Dr Michael Looker said. “Our volunteers make an enormous contribution to conservation in Australia, and future generations will benefits from their efforts to protect and conserve our nation’s bush,” Dr Looker concluded.

The organization estimated that volunteers’ work amount to almost AUS$250,000.

The enormous contribution volunteers make to Trust for Nature is even more crucial considering that Trust for Nature only employs 31 full or part time staff. This equates to a ratio of almost one paid staff member for every 40 volunteers.

The 32-year old Trust for Nature is the oldest organization dedicated to environmental conservation in the country. The organization is committed to protect native bushland and develop sustainable solutions to land management that will ensure future generations will also have the opportunity to enjoy Australia’s iconic bush.

The volunteers undertake an equally diverse range of activities with an estimated 350 volunteers undertaking highly-valued flora and fauna surveys, helping out Melbourne office staff with administration duties or assisting to facilitate events and mail outs. A large number of volunteers also work on voluntary committees of management in conserving protected parcels of land.

A further estimated over 870 volunteers have made an enormous contribution to conservation by placing a covenant on their bush property that conserves the natural features of an area by preventing the land from being developed or cleared. As part of this agreement, these volunteers have committed themselves to maintaining their land in an appropriate and sustainable way that reduces weed infestation, salinity and soil erosion.

From: Trust for Nature