As knowledge of tropical biodiversity increases, so too does our understanding of human's expanding ecological footprint, and the challenge of managing our interaction with tropical ecosystems. Our choice to maintain and enhance living standards means that resource utilisation must occur, but at the same time this choice challenges development to recognise and respect the needs of indigenous people, plants and animals.
At Biotropica Australia, our commitment is to practical, innovative and ethical solutions – assisting our clients to manage their global, corporate, community and personal responsibility to protect and enhance these species rich environments. We do this by ensuring that development and conservation are not mutually exclusive, and achieve this synergy by using sound science, and insight derived from decades of experience.
Biotropica Australia and its staff aim to embrace responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities. We ensure active compliance of our business and our client’s projects with all environmental laws and the spirit of the law, and assist our clients in managing their global, corporate, community and personal responsibility.
Beyond this, Biotropica also engage in philanthropic activities that further environmental or social good both locally in Australia and supporting sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific.
Biotropica Australia has assisted with funding the Max Benjamin Elementary School in Papua New Guinea’s West New Britain Province. Founded by long time locals Max and Cecile Benjamin, the school educates children from local villages who would previously have either not had the opportunity to attend school, or would have travelled long distances twice daily to attend another school. Papua New Guinea is a focus location of Biotropica’s overseas services, so the company is always pleased to contribute to the education and potential of the PNG people as they manage their remarkable island nation.
World renowned environmental economist Pavan Sukdev gave the first address of his Australian tour at the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia’s Inaugural Conference at the University of WA, Perth in November 2012. His keynote speech ‘Can Today’s Corporation Deliver Tomorrow’s Economy’ was a thought-provoking message to all organisations about the way we do business in terms of social equity, and transparency in valuing environmental services. As Pavan says, ‘to change what we value, we have to change what we measure’. Biotropica Australia was pleased to sponsor Pavan’s visit as part of their commitment to sustainability at all levels.
Biotropica Australia has sponsored the position of Field Officer at Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU-CMU). Biotropica’s support has allowed FORRU to continue its mainstream research and education activities to promote restoration of forest ecosystems in Thailand and other SE Asian countries and to branch out into new areas, such as mine-land restoration, development of assisted natural regeneration ANR and urban forestry.
TREAT is a community-based tree planting group operating mainly on the Atherton Tablelands. It was formed in 1982 with the principal objective of encouraging people to plant native rainforest trees. Membership numbers have increased as more and more landowners with farms or urban gardens feel the need to plant native trees for a variety of reasons – such as the rehabilitation of degraded lands, improvement of water quality, provision of windbreaks, the restoration of forest remnants, rebuilding wildlife corridors to enable wildlife to move freely or, just to enhance the landscape. TREAT members work voluntarily throughout the year with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Restoration Services Lake Eacham Nursery, rearing trees to rebuild the framework of the tropical rainforests of the Atherton and Evelyn Tablelands.
Over the past 20 years, over half a million native plants have been propagated and planted. Production involves seed collection and preparation, the rearing of seedlings and the care of the young trees until they are ready to be planted out. TREAT volunteers not only plant trees, they design and manage complex projects, supervise and monitor implementation and provide annual progress reports to agencies providing financial support; they are also involved in a number of other related activities, such as monitoring wildlife populations, studying vegetation changes and running school awareness programs. Operating within priority frameworks set by Integrated Catchment Management Committees and government bodies, TREAT works with government and non-government agencies, landowners and other community groups.
Biotropica’s directors Nigel Tucker and Tracey Marshall sponsored TREAT for 10 years in the production of TREAT’s quarterly newsletter.
Sustainable management of tropical forest resources in developing countries remains an elusive goal with few exceptions. Education is part of the process – without learning, people’s ability to recognise and develop more sustainable approaches remains untapped. In this respect the Solomon Islands is little different, with forest logging and conversion of logged areas to oil palm remaining a serious threat to the country’s rich biodiversity. Faced with these threats, local people are often poorly equipped to make decisions which may have far-reaching environmental and cultural implications.
On a visit to the Solomon Islands, Biotropica directors Nigel Tucker and Tracey Marshall returned to Marovo Lagoon in Western Province and were disappointed to see the extent of logging and forest conversion around the world’s only double barrier reef lagoon, a site which had been considered for World Heritage listing prior to the civil war of the late 1990’s. Serendipity prevailed and the directors learnt of Solutions par Marovo – a local non-profit organisation managing the Marovo Scholarship Scheme. This scheme administered funds to sponsor the educational needs of promising Marovo students wishing to complete secondary education.
Biotropica Australia was involved in a sponsorship program with the Atherton Roosters Rugby League club. Biotropica is always pleased to assist in sustaining and developing local sporting clubs, especially clubs which strive for excellence and play with determination and respect. Biotropica continues to wish the Roosters all the very best in upcoming seasons.
Biotropica Australia sponsored Lewis Marshall from 2010 until 2015 in his endeavours to win and break records in the field of road and track cycling. Lewis’s commitment to training and hard work is something Biotropica Australia is proud to be associated with.
Lewis outstanding achievement in cycling has been recognised by Cycling Queensland who awarded Lewis ‘Senior Masters Male Road’ in 2011 and ‘Senior Masters Male Track’ in 2012.
Lewis was awarded ‘2012 Senior Sports Person of the Year’ in Gladstone on Australia Day – a very proud moment in Lewis’s career. Lewis’s hard work and dedication to his sport has won him Australian National titles in 2012 and 2013 in both Road and Track disciplines.
Lewis represented Australia at the track World Titles held in Manchester, United Kingdom in 2014, Lewis came away with a Silver medal in the team pursuit.
In 2018 Lewis took up the new discipline of Mountain biking and won the National Titles Series. Lewis becoming a rare National title holder in all three codes – Road, Track and Mountain biking.