Guide on how you can help with the Australian fire crisis
Every day hundreds of images of animals in distress appear in the media following the forest fires in Australia. Because there are a lot of people who want to help, but they don't know how, we decided to create an overview.
Since September, violent fires have plagued both people and animals in Australia. The destruction and death toll is rising every day. Here are some preliminary figures:
24 people have died
2 persons are still missing
thousands of homes have been destroyed
10 million hectares of forest have disappeared
1.25 billion dead animals according to WWF
A spontaneous reaction that many have, is that they want to leave for Australia to lend a hand. Doesn't sound bad in itself, but here are a few reasons why it's not such a good idea after all:
First of all, thousands of people are trying to leave the country. There are numerous rescue operations trying to evacuate stranded people. Bringing more people to Australia would only cause more problems.
Secondly, at the origin of the forest fires lies the drought, which is partly due to global warming. Heat records and drought due to climate change cause a longer forest fire season than usual. The C02 emissions associated with travel would therefore only cause more misery in the long term.
So what can we do from here?
Contact rescue operations directly to send the necessary emergency equipment.
Donate to wild life conservation organisations, such as Wires, that are mainly concerned with caring for injured animals.
More eco responsible living to reduce impact on the climate. I will write another article about this topic. Here you can already find an article about 'how to travel more eco responsible'.
Start planning ways to help the reforestation (donations, go plant trees as a volunteer, ...).
Suspicious Antwerp supports Down Under
The fashion brand Suspicious Antwerp is dropping a special Down Under T-Shirt tonight at 18h00 to support native animals in Australia. The t-shirt is sold at €45 and available from XS up to XXL. 100% of the profits will go to Wires Wildlife Rescue.
Wires (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) has been rescuing and caring for native animals in Australia for over 30 years. They have over 2,500 volunteers in 28 branches involved in the rescue and care of wildlife and have a dedicated rescue office that operates 365 days a year assisting the community to help native animals in distress. Wires helps tens of thousands of animals every year, receiving up to 95,000 requests for rescue advice and assistance every 12 months.
Various top football players such as David Luiz, Joao Felix and Rodrigo Bentancur have already shared this initiative on their Social Channels. Also international stars such as Jay Alvarrez, Ryan Garcia, Nina Agdal, Meredith Mickelson, Danna Paola, Carmella Rose. Top models Renee Herbert, Carmela Rose and Scarlett Rose Leithold and Belgian Celebs such as Julie Van den Steen, Sean Dhondt, Jelle van Damme and Vexx support their initiative.
Small things matter. It's with even the smallest donation or the smallest change towards more environment conscious ways of living, that we can try to avoid these kinds of catastrophes. I hope this guide will help you make the right decisions. If you have any questions regarding this article, please do not hesitate to contact me.