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The recent bushfires throughout Australia have been devastating. Our thoughts are with those who have lost so much, and we are thankful to all the volunteers and firefighters for their dedication to our communities.

As Australia’s oldest scientific institution, our team has spent over 200 years helping discover, research and protect our plants. These plants are home to billions of animals that can't survive without them, including our unique native species like the threatened koala.

In the past few months more than 11 million hectares (27.2 million acres) across Australia have burnt, including an estimated 7 billion trees. 7 billion. The bushfires have been fuelled by record-breaking heat and months-long drought. In this challenging new era, it is imperative that we understand how climate change is impacting our natural environment, now and into the future.

Scientists and horticulturalists at your Botanic Gardens are working on real solutions to help ensure our plant life can withstand a changing climate. They are aiming to prevent extinctions of not only our plants, but the animals which rely on them, including you and me.

The bushfires have presented a small window of time for our scientists to assess the impact of these fires on our ecological communities and to monitor how nature works to regenerate ecosystems. With an expectation that climate change will continue to facilitate fires in the future, it is important that we not only understand their impact but that we also preserve plants in seed banks and botanic gardens. These provide an insurance policy for plant diversity.

The Australian PlantBank at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan already houses over 100 million seeds, including 61% of the threatened species in New South Wales. The recent impact of bushfires highlights the urgent need to upscale our efforts to collect the full suite of approximately 25,000 species of plants in Australia, helping ensure they are preserved for the future and available for future regeneration projects if needed.

With entire populations of plants at risk of not being able to recover without intervention, seed banking is more important than ever. Our collection has the potential to be used to propagate and replenish plants in fire affected areas. Seed banking, when combined with other programs to recover species and ecosystems, is our best hope to protect our plants and our future.

In addition to our vital science, your Botanic Gardens are working to address the direct impacts of climate change within our three Gardens:
  • We are helping to restore the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah following the devastation of the bushfires which burnt through a quarter of our living collection and most of our conservation forest.
  • We are working on sustainable water solutions to ensure our important living collections can withstand a challenging future with extended periods of drought.

Your support for your Botanic Gardens has never been so important. Please donate today to protect our plants and our future.

Consider making even more of an impact by donating monthly. Donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible for Australian residents.

Thank you for your support.

For more information
If you would like to make a major gift to support our work or explore partnership opportunities, please contact us on the details below.

Phone (within Australia): 02 9231 8182
Phone (outside Australia): +61 2 9231 8182
Email: foundation.friends@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
 
 
 
Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens is the charity supporting the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. Our mission is to grow a strong, supportive community to advocate and raise funds for our Botanic Gardens and their vital work protecting our plants and our future.

To read our Terms and Conditions, click here.