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    Q+A with Ariahne Thompson from WWF-Australia

    As part of our Boobook Magic Egg Hunt this Easter each of the six winners will win a year's supply of chocolate and a native animal adopted in their name via the World Wildlife Fund Australia, or WWF-Australia for short. We are proudly a Partner in Purpose with WWF-Australia, which is about to celebrate it's 61st birthday! The most recent project is all about Regenerating Australia. We sat down with Ari, Impact Partnerships Manager, to find out more.

    We are on a regenerative journey, and we know you are too. It’s such an important key to reversing climate change, but it can be tricky to explain! How do you help people understand what it is in a way that’s simple and inspiring?

    As we began the task of bushfire recovery after the 2019-20 summer bushfires, we wanted to make sure our work was centered around what Australians needed. So, we engaged in an extensive nationwide listening campaign, especially to listen to Indigenous voices and views and those of bushfire-affected communities, on what it will take to rebuild Australia and restore what has been lost. What we discovered is that Australians want a vision that goes beyond building back better and creates a different, more sustainable future, in which people and nature thrive.
    We realised we had a unique opportunity to re-imagine what a national plan to regenerate Australia might look like. This is how Regenerate Australia was born, the largest, most innovative wildlife and landscape regeneration program in Australia’s history. Regenerate Australia is not just about recovery, it is a vision and program of action to ensure our environment, people and wildlife thrive.

    What’s your all-time favourite WWF project and what’s the most satisfying project that you’ve worked on?

    It’s hard to pick a favourite WWF project because the work we do is so broad and far-reaching. We’re doing exciting things every day in the areas of wildlife protection, climate action, oceans, sustainable food, and landscape regeneration, and use innovative solutions to address some of the greatest sustainability challenges of our time.

    One of my favourites from the last few years has been Net-Free North. For years, WWF-Australia has been advocating banning commercial gill nets and fishing practices that threaten dugongs and other endangered animals in the Great Barrier Reef. WWF-Australia now owns four commercial QLD fishing licenses and a sizable quota in the far northern Reef. We’ve retired major commercial gill nets to give endangered species like dugongs, hammerhead sharks, and marine turtles nearly 100,000km2 of net-free refuge to call home. A protected oasis larger in size than Tasmania!

    The most satisfying for me is the brand-new small business program, Partners in Purpose. After working with large businesses for a long time it’s satisfying to be able to provide small businesses with a way to engage with WWF’s work. Transforming industry and markets, and engaging businesses as mechanisms for change is a huge part of building a future where people and nature can thrive. We’re excited to have Loving Earth join us in this capacity as another incredible business making positive change.

    Does WWF have a relationship with first nations communities and how do their indigenous practices inform your own land regeneration and conservation of native animals?

    Indigenous voices and Traditional Owner knowledge are a consistent and fundamental thread throughout all our conversations. This is a key part of our strategy for Regenerate Australia where we are working with Indigenous leaders, communities, and land managers to support the Indigenous-led revitalisation of cultural fire management across our landscapes.

    One of our key projects is focused on women rangers. For thousands of years, Indigenous women have been caring for their country. Over the years, WWF-Australia has formed strong relationships with ranger groups throughout Western Australia’s Kimberley region and along Queensland’s east coast. And we know the concerns women rangers have – the lack of funding that leads to job insecurity.

    That’s why we’re working to create the ‘Women Rangers Network’. So that these remarkable women can continue to ensure that our country will thrive for years to come. You can read some incredible stories from our Women Rangers Network on our website here.

    We love all animals, so every one of them is our favourite but is there one animal that’s particularly popular when it comes to adoption? 

    Our supporters also love all animals, but Koalas are particularly popular in our adoption program. All our adoption animals are iconic Aussie species but during a time when our landscapes have been ravaged by natural disasters, and Australia has become a deforestation hub, koalas are symbolic of the devastating loss of habitat which so many animals call home. We recently launched a platypus adoption option which is also very popular!

    With the ongoing floods in Northern NSW and Southern QLD Climate Change is making its presence felt here in Australia. How is WWF responding to this urgent need to help regenerate our shared land?

    Severe weather events in Australia are becoming more frequent and more extreme with climate change. In the last two years, we’ve seen drought, floods, and fires at a scale we’ve never seen before. In regards to the latest floods in NSW and QLD, we are proud to have already deployed over $45,000 for immediate wildlife rescue, care, and recovery with our partners and we will continue to deploy emergency funds.

    While no one can do everything, everyone can do something. Making simple changes in our daily lives can help reduce our ecological footprint and have an impact on our environment. Learn more here:

    If it sounds like a duck, has a beak like a duck, has feet like a duck, and swims like a duck you still better make sure it’s not a platypus! We love a laugh…What’s your favourite animal joke
    What do you call a lazy baby kangaroo? …A pouch potato!

    You used to share your initials with a well-known entertainment organisation…we want to know who’d win between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and a wombat?
    The wombat of course! A wombat’s rear end is its main form of defense. When a predator is near, these big booty mammals dive down their burrows and block off the entrance with their butts, which mainly consist of cartilage and are very resistant to scratches and bites. They can also crush predators’ skulls with their behind! Impressive!

    We’re sending you on a regenerative mission to the most untouched places on Planet Earth, you can take one luxury and one Loving Earth product to have in constant supply on your trip. What are they?

    Good question! My luxury item would be my camera, I can’t visit the most untouched places on planet earth without being able to take some of it back home with me to share. My Loving Earth item would be the new cream and cookies chocolate, I can’t get enough of it!

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