What is happening?

Since August 2019 Australia has been experiencing devastating and widespread bushfires across the nation.

At the time of writing, 25 are confirmed dead, half a billion animals killed in the state of New South Wales alone, and 8.4 million hectares of land has been burned.

Why should you care?

Dozens of species of already endangered animals are being pushed to extinction. Australia is one of the world’s mega diverse countries, meaning most animal found in Australia are unique to our country. The bushfires are not only killing animals, they are destroying habitat, and creating starvation events.

Meanwhile, the economic impact alone has exceeded 4.4 billion dollars and is continuing to climb. Terry Rawnsley of SGS Economic and Planning, estimates the costs to fire affected regions from lost retail, agricultural, and tourism income could be as high as 1.9 billion dollars. Furthermore, the smoke choking major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra contributes to reduced national economic output. This adds a further $500 million price tag on the bushfires.

Most people know Australia has a regular bush fire season. However, due to several factors, including climate change accelerated by human activity, fire seasons are starting earlier, finishing later, and becoming more intense. Fire seasons will continue to lengthen unless direct action is taken.

These fires are devastating and widespread and we are not yet halfway through the season.

How is it affecting FSC-certified forests in the country?

We are still unsure as FSC certificate holders are still battling the blazes. We will later reach out to them to collect an assessment of the impact.

How is it affecting Australians?

In the state of New South Wales alone more than 500 homes have been destroyed. Residents of major cities such as Canberra are experiencing the worst air quality in the world. Our firefighters, many of them volunteers, are working around the clock and are exhausted. The human impact is immeasurable.

What can you do to help?

Support for Australian communities have been overwhelming. A large number of charities are dedicating resources to supporting and rebuilding communities affected by the bushfires. Please have a look at the list of charities FSC Australia selected if you wish to support the long-term stability of Australian forests.