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Dear Great Eastern Ranges members and supporters,

The devastating bushfires, ongoing drought and COVID-19 pandemic have created an unsettling and difficult time for us all and have presented a rapid succession of challenges. The last few months, however, have also provided us with a rare opportunity to scale-up our efforts to restore and reconnect healthy habitats and to help Australia to build back better for the benefit of nature and people. We wanted to share some of these significant initiatives and results with you which would not have been achievable without your ongoing support.
At the end of 2019, GER together with Gondwana Link (GL), were awarded a significant grant by The Ian Potter Foundation to deliver ‘Connecting communities and habitats at scale’. The three-year project will see GER and GL working together to lift the national effort to protect, manage and reconnect natural landscapes through the development and sharing of best practice science; targeted communications to promote the need for and benefits of connectivity conservation; network support; leadership; and facilitating effective conservation practice. This will include a series of events, workshops and practitioner masterclasses which we will keep you updated on.
To ensure a coordinated and complementary response to the devastating black summer bushfires, we released a bushfire recovery plan in January. GER’s plan to help restore and reconnect eastern Australia comprises three phases: 1) Emergency relief phase which involved immediate support of wildlife carer groups 2) Restoration and recovery phase incorporating restoration of feed areas, habitat creation and enhancement of climate change corridors and, 3) Building long-term resilience by strengthening the health and value of unburnt regions to assist wildlife in the short term, whilst helping to protect these areas from future fire events.
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As part of our bushfire response efforts, we have partnered with WWF-Australia to restore the health and resilience of key habitat for Koalas, Greater Gliders and other forest-dependent native wildlife. Through the collaboration, we are rolling out a series of coordinated, complementary projects to restore and relink the forests of eastern Australia and support the movement of wildlife in six priority locations across the Great Eastern Ranges. This is the first phase of what we hope will become a long-term, strategic collaboration with WWF-Australia.
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In line with our focus on ensuring a healthy environment for healthy people, GER has joined the newly established Four Islands EcoHealth Collaboration. The collaboration forms part of the global EcoHealth Network which is combining restoration initiatives with public health research, interventions, and outreach in countries around the world. The Four Islands Ecohealth collaboration, which also includes Gondwana Link, comprises ecological restoration experts and medical practitioners from across Australia and New Zealand. As part of the network, GER will establish several Ecohealth ‘network sites’ – priority projects that support effective ecological restoration as part of a global network of sites – in eastern Australia and Tasmania over the next couple of years.
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To support the effective practice of connectivity conservation through the sharing of knowledge and lessons learnt between large landscape initiatives in Australasia, the Connectivity and Large Landscapes in Australia and New Zealand (CALLANZ) network was established in 2019. The leadership group, which is comprised of the Directors of GER, Gondwana Link Ltd and Reconnecting Northland, meet once quarterly. The intention is to eventually expand the group to include other and new emerging connectivity conservation initiatives in the region. 
The many opportunities that have arisen over the past several months have enabled GER to start to ramp up once again. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to work with our many partners to refresh our long-term strategic plan to help ensure that it is ambitious, whilst still being realistic and is backed by practical support and knowledge.

All of this has been achievable thanks to the support and encouragement you have lent us. In closing, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation and encourage you to contact us for more information or to discuss possible further opportunities that may emerge in the coming months.

Best wishes for a safe and healthy period ahead,
Gary Howling
Executive Director & CEO
Great Eastern Ranges
Bob Debus
Great Eastern Ranges
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Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 528 Pyrmont NSW 2009.

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Great Eastern Ranges initiative · Suite 1.07 · 55 Miller Street · PYRMONT, Nsw 2009 · Australia

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