After the horrific summer bushfires of 2019/20, the Australian landscape is facing a monumental task of recovery.
Which is why, in the lead up to National Tree Day on 2 August, Planet Ark has released its annual Tree Report, focused on the central theme of ‘Regeneration: For Our Land, For Our People, For Our Future’.
This year’s report includes information on bush and ecosystem regeneration, as well as personal regeneration from the collective eco-anxiety that the bushfires and long-term drought has generated, in addition to the current stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Mel Taylor, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, is a Planet Ark Ambassador and wrote the forward for the report. In it she discusses how we can use our feelings of loss and eco-anxiety to take action and create positive change.
“To begin the process of recovery and regeneration, we need to think about how we have managed the challenges and setbacks we have faced, and to think about actions we can take to change things for the better as we move forward,” says Mel. “What better time to think about our connections, to one another and to our environment?”
“This year on National Tree Day we can join with others to reflect on what has been lost this last year in terms of our natural environment, and how we can take positive action by planting trees, caring for our natural surroundings, and mobilising in other ways to protect our environment into the future.”
While the public events for National Tree Day have sadly been cancelled due to COVID-19, Planet Ark is encouraging people to mark the day by planting in their own backyard or vegetable patch where possible.
Another way to show your support is by sharing a photo of yourself hugging a tree or connecting with nature, and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #HugaTreeforNTD.
So with COVID-19 physical distancing preventing people-hugging, why not hug a tree instead?