Brettacorp Inc. was incorporated in 2015 as a non-profit community association and is active in the Northern Queensland region in Australia. Their focus is on reverting the loss and fragmentation of native forests in the Cassowary Coast Region and the reduction in habit for emblematic and endangered species such as the Southern Cassowary, a large flightless black bird, and the Mahogany Glider, a small air-gliding possum that only exists in this part of the world. The region has a tropical climate with very high rainfall and includes both coastal and hilly areas. This combination has created a rich mosaic of aquatic, wetland and dry environments, which have been reduced and fragmented due to human infrastructure and a strong agricultural production dominated by sugar cane and banana.
Based in Tully, one of the region’s larger towns, Brettacorp works in conjunction with local entities, private and public landowners, and the local communities. The habitat recovery work involves replanting native forests, restoration of riparian zones (along bodies of water) and remediation of lowland, seasonally flooded, topographies. So far, nearly 10 hectares (25 acres) of land across different sites have been remediated and re-vegetated solely with native trees. An additional 50 ha in different sites are also in the pipeline, with a broader goal to achieve a larger, “industrial-scale” expansion of the forest cover.
Much of the work is done through community planting actions as a way to strengthen the connection of people to their land while transferring know-how and skills for an improved management. Brettacorp provides the organisational and technical support, materials and added manpower. These interventions are done in coordination with local and federal entities and with other partners such as Landcare Australia, a national network of community groups focused on conservation and natural resource management. The funding sources and multiple awards recognise this joint work, with financing coming primarily from public programmes such as the Federal Government’s National Landcare Programme 20 million trees, Queensland State Government Community Sustainability Action Grants, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife or the Landcare Australia’s Land Restoration Fund.
Brettacorp also conducts extended training courses and tests different approaches in their own restored site. In addition to other more common planting methods, they also follow the “Miyawaki method” of afforestation, an approach to recover degraded lands and quickly grow dense, rich forests with native species. This has been employed in different locations, with the plan to replicate it further.