Fraser Island dedicated under Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy

By Chrissie Goldrick 23 October 2018
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More forests will be inscribed under the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy today in Fiji.

YESTERDAY,  HRH Prince Harry travelled to K’Gari Fraser Island to unveil a plaque announcing that the island has been dedicated under The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project. This new initiative brings together more than 90 forest conservation projects around the world and facilitates sharing of experiences and knowledge for the benefit of native forests and those who depend on them.

HRH travelled by 4×4 truck along sandy tracks to Pile Valley, a spectacular stand of lofty satinay and kauri pines and other rainforest plants in the middle of the island.

He met members of the local Butchulla community and was hosted by Anna Palaszczuk, premier of Queensland. After a smoking ceremony the Prince was treated to a heartfelt welcome to country from Butchulla woman Aunty Gayle Minniecon after which Prince Harry addressed the gathered crowd before he unveiled  a plaque marking the occasion.

(Image credit: Chrissie Goldrick/Australian Geographic)

In his speech Prince Harry described the unique values of the world’s largest sand island and the importance of the conservation initiative founded in his grandmother’s name. “The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy is an opportunity for the Commonwealth to unite to protect one of the world’s most important natural habitats – forests.  Forty-two out of the 53 countries are now taking part and I hope that others will join soon.” Said the Duke.

“The programme is committed to raising awareness of the value of indigenous forests and to saving them for future generations.  Put simply, without trees and forests, we don’t survive. It is a symbiotic relationship, and one that so many people still fail to realise.

(Image credit: Chrissie Goldrick/Australian Geographic)

Talking in particular about Queensland’s contributions, HRH said  “K’gari, and Bulburin National Park which my father also dedicated on his recent visit, are the first protected areas in Queensland to be recognised under the QCC initiative.  There are now more than 200,000 acres of protected forest here on this island, and that is an enormous achievement.”

“It is up to us now to protect this paradise together – not just because it looks beautiful – but because it is an essential part of our existence, and will continue to be for our children and their children’s children.”

Today, the Duke and Duchess will fly to Fiji to visit more forests inscribed under the QCC.

(Image credit: Chrissie Goldrick/Australian Geographic)