Although only a short distance geographically from the urban hub of Cairns, the Daintree region could be worlds away. One of the few remaining true wilderness areas to be found on Australia’s east coast, the area’s high biodiversity values are internationally renowned and have been recognised in the World Heritage listing of the landscape’s rainforests and surrounding coastal reefs. One of the least modified landscapes in the Wet Tropics, community groups in the Daintree have a strong focus on protecting and enhancing the natural ecosystems and local wildlife found there, through planning, research and on ground actions.
With a focus on protecting existing habitats, restoring degraded natural areas and conserving wildlife species dependent on these ecosystems, Rainforest Rescue has been operating since 1998. In the Daintree, a Buy Back and Protect Forever Project purchases properties of high biodiversity value and uses covenants to ensure their protection forever.
Austrop, the Australian Tropical Research Foundation, manages a research station in the heart of the Daintree, providing a platform for researchers interested in studying the ecosystems of the lowland Wet Tropics. Since its establishment in 1988, Austrop has also played a significant role in on-ground action and education around conserving the natural values of the area.
Daintree Local Tourism Network
With tourism one of the main industries and sources of employment in this region, many groups and individuals have links to the Daintree Local Tourism Network. Nature-based tours are a specialty within this landscape, meaning healthy natural ecosystems are a high priority for many operators.