Following the destruction of one third of the Kosciuszko National Park more than 14,000 Polish firefighters have raised over $150,000 dollars towards recovery work.
The money was donated to the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, the trusted charity partner for Australia's National Parks.
Part of the Polish Aid for Australia fundraiser, 'Think globally, act locally', the gesture was in recognition of Polish-Australian relations, considering the Australian national park named after 18th century Polish military leader, General Tadeusz Kociuszko.
President of Poland, Andrzej Duda highlighted that the contribution was not state assistance, but rather social, civic, human and Polish aid.
"This was a gift from the heart made by our firefighters to Australia, with the donation taking place in the Presidential Palace - one could say in the heart of the Polish Republic."
The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has since allocated the donation to NSW National Parks for immediate work, including erosion control, invasive species control and recovery of threatened species, such as the Broad Toothed Rat and Mountain Pygmy Possum.
A spokesperson from NSW National Parks said that it was imperative for some of the project work to be complete before the onset of winter and snowy conditions.
"It's important for us to continue stabilising exposed erosion, planting native vegetation and protecting the habitats of endangered species', so they can populate, particularly following the intense impact of the bushfires.
Work completed now will be essential for the long-term regeneration of one of Australia's most iconic landmarks."
Works currently underway include:
- Assessment of Montane Peatlands and aerial viewing and control of Willows sprouting
- Stabilisation of exposed erosion lines in the subalpine region to stop erosion and allow revegetation.
- Rehabilitation and stability work on Rocky Plain Bog, Snowy Mountains.
- Planting podocarpus, native raspberry and other habitat plants at Mountain Pygmy Possum sites.
- Temporary structures to provide habitat and protection for the Broad-toothed Rat in areas where vegetation cover has been completely lost.
- Seed collection of multiple shrubs and trees for rehabilitation.
- Weed control along tracks and trails.
- Erection of micro-bat boxes in rehabilitation areas.
For further information and updates on FNPW's projects, visit www.fnpw.org.au