Camera Traps – April 2023 accrued 167-cassowary sightings, 103-dingoes and a whopping 716-feral pigs. Against the cumulative monthly average, cassowary numbers rose by 50%, dingoes increased by 178% and feral-pig numbers exploded by 461%. Against April 2022, cassowaries were 334% higher, dingo numbers sky-rocketed by 1,717% and feral-pigs also soared by 918%.
Prudy is one of two female cassowaries to have succeeded the grand matriarch Big Bertha, who has seemingly retired into anti-competitive seclusion. Over the past 12-months we have only had one sighting of her on Camera Trap #6 and after some three-decades of co-habitation, we miss her terribly.
Article 17 of the World Heritage Convention encourages States Parties to establish national, public and private foundations, whose purpose is to invite donations for the protection of the cultural and natural heritage values of inscribed World Heritage Areas.
The environmental treasure known colloquially as ‘Daintree Rainforest’, of which the Daintree Coast Community owns and occupies a strategically important part, must be protected and presented via a world-class custodianship, so that the conservation economy relied upon for sustenance and prosperity, is as well-protected and nurtured as the income-earning environment. This ideal represents the Daintree Coast Community’s highest and best-use and must be protected from uncharitable external activism and/or usurpation:
- The people and communities of the Daintree Coast Community and the freehold properties within, are constituent parts of the legal definition of ‘environment’ and should not be disrespected, maligned or denigrated and particularly not as a strategic part of any environmental fund-raising activities;
- Effective and active protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage values across the Daintree Coast, must remain the central function in the life of the Daintree Coast Community;
- The combination of vigilant occupancy and freehold title constitutes a significant conservation asset that should be acknowledged and utilised to the greatest advantage of Daintree Coast custodianship;
- Environmental charities far removed from the Daintree Coast should not covet environmental treasures belonging to existing landowners, which cannot possibly be saved if not already protected.
Environmental goals should be pursued in the most cost-effective way, by establishing incentive structures, including market mechanisms, which enable those best placed to maximise benefits and/or minimise costs to develop their own solutions and responses to environmental problems:
- Funds accrued via charitable donations for ‘Saving the Daintree Rainforest’ should firstly support the landowners of the properties that legally possess the targeted environmental and cultural values;
- Securing these conservation values with current landownership retained, is manifestly more cost-effective and protective of community integrity;
- Incorporating unoccupied properties into adjacent occupied landholdings under conservation covenant, is manifestly more cost-effective and protective of community integrity;
- Re-vegetating historically cleared areas on properties that are already owned and occupied is manifestly more cost-effective and protective of community integrity;
- Where properties have been historically acquired for conservation, but the charity that holds the property title is absentee by thousands of kilometres, transferring the property to a registered charity with similar objects residing within the Daintree Coast is manifestly more cost-effective and protective of community integrity; &
- Claims of creating ‘wildlife corridors’ should be dismissed, as the totality of the natural landscape provides unfettered wildlife movement regardless of the landowner’s name upon title.
If donations raised by remote charities for ‘Saving the Daintree Rainforest’ were expended in support of these environmentally beneficial principles, the Daintree Coast Community would be the strongest supporter.
Daintree Rainforest Foundation Ltd has been registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and successfully entered onto the Register of Environmental Organisations. Donations made to the Daintree Rainforest Fund support the Daintree Rainforest community custodianship and are eligible for a tax deduction under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.