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As Australia’s nature crisis worsens, Australian Geographic launches new nature awards that will see it give away $100k to conservation in the first year.

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Australian Geographic Dr Kate Lemming

Australia is sadly a world-leader when it comes to species extinction and endangerments, with almost 1,800 nationally listed threatened species.

“In response to the worsening nature crisis, not-for-profit organisation Australian Geographic is now giving away 100 per cent of its profits to its charitable arm, the Australian Geographic Society.”

As part of the new strategy, Australian Geographic Society has launched three new grants  – worth between $20,000 and $50,000 each – called the Australian Geographic Awards for Nature.

“We know that urgent action is needed, so these grants will deliver significant funds directly to innovative conservation changemakers whose work is underpinned by science and engages local communities and Traditional Custodians,” said Australian Geographic Society Chair, Chrissie Goldrick.

“Our aim is to increase the number of grants to six per year in 2025, because we are committed to doing everything we can to protect Australia’s unique species,” she added.

Since the launch of Australian Geographic Society, over $5 million has been donated to support native species at risk.

For example, the Australian Geographic Society has been supporting the efforts to save the Mountain pygmy possum, donating in total $143,227 since 2010.

The funds have helped establish a research Mountain pygmy possum facility and breeding program at Secret Creek near Lithgow in NSW, led by Professor Mike Archer from UNSW. The research offers hope that the species can survive climate change, as it aims to reintroduce the species to lower altitudes.

“The colony is now established, and successfully churning out new young in the Breeding Facility – which is a major indication of the growing success of the whole program. The Australian Geographic Society’s ongoing help and support has been enormously important in enabling this to happen,” said Professor Mike Archer, UNSW.

Applications for Australian Geographic Society Awards for Nature open on 5 February, and the projects will have to meet strict eligibility criteria. An expert review panel will assess applications, and successful Awards recipients will be announced at a public ceremony later this year.

The Awards for Nature include more than money. The successful applicants will also receive capacity-building assistance including networking, public relations training and a suite of visual assets can be used to better communicate the projects to the wider community.

Details about how to apply for the Australian Geographic Society Awards for Nature will be available on the Australian Geographic website. 

https://www.dcceew.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/ts-strategy.pdf

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