We Are Explorers is going all in and purchasing a block of land in the Daintree Rainforest. No, not for us to retire on, to preserve! And you can help us protect this ancient forest from development.
It’s 2019, and Planet Earth ain’t looking her perkiest.
Watching the news is about as uplifting as watching ‘Schindler’s List’ on a Sunday night after a Saturday night that involved drinking your body weight in vodka red bulls.
‘Average wildlife populations have dropped by 60% in the last 40 years.’
‘Carbon dioxide levels are the highest they’ve been in the history of mankind.’
Anyone who argues that we’re not in a climate emergency needs their head seeing to, but to throw our hands up in defeat and wallow in the misery and destruction caused by humans is, quite frankly, a crap way to look at it.
Whilst it’s easy to feel a little disillusioned with the state of the planet, there are many glimmers of hope shining through the darkness; individuals, organisations and social movements who are creating awareness, taking action and inspiring others to follow suit. The solutions already exist, and we’re already seeing their benefits (if you haven’t watched 2040, you probably should).
Why We Are Explorers?
We Are Explorers began in 2014 to encourage Australian urbanites to spend more time in nature and live more adventurously. I firmly believe that adventure is the modern-day antidote to ‘busyness’. Incredibly, we now reach upwards of 1.3 million people per month who are seeking disconnection and wanting to squeeze more joy and experience from life (often with a crusty pair of hiking socks on).
But adventure and the preservation of our wild places aren’t mutually exclusive. As David Attenborough once said, ‘No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.’
By virtue of spending time outdoors, we become aware of Mother Nature’s beauty and fragility. We become engaged as stewards of the planet and feel a responsibility to look after it.
So when it came to the question of how We Are Explorers could help, it seemed only natural to look at ways we could support Australian initiatives. We want to use our growing ‘influence’ as a force for good. The common feedback we receive is ‘I want to help, but I just don’t know where to start.’ Perhaps we could make it more possible for everyday Explorers to get behind causes they care about in an accessible and meaningful way?
In 2017 I moved to the sub-tropical paradise of NSW’s Northern Rivers and settled into a rickety old A-frame cabin with my wife, new-born boy and a Planet-Earth-episode-worth of reptiles. I come from a small country town in the UK where the scariest animal encounters include being winked at by a badger or being chased through a muddy bog by a frisky ferret. Life in the ‘jungle’ was fairly out of my comfort zone, but man, was it special.
What’s more impressive than the wildlife though, is the community. The region is alive with alternative lifestyles and left-field thinkers; passionate environmentalists with a deep, spiritual connection to this land and a commitment to look after it, no matter what.
A Rebel With A Cause
I met Kelvin Davies in February. Since 1987 Kelvin has been protecting rainforests in countries around the world, and (other than a drunk Wallaby fan I bumped into recently), he’s one of the most passionate, driven and committed supporters of anything I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. We happen to work a macadamia nut’s throw away from each other in a co-working space in Mullumbimby and getting to know him, his story and his commitment to conservation was eye-opening, and his energy and excitement infectious.
Kelvin’s organisation, Rainforest 4 Foundation, essentially buys threatened rainforest, saves it from development and partners with local conservationists for long term protection. A career-spanning region of focus for Kelvin is the Lowland Daintree rainforest in Far North Queensland, one of the oldest, most biodiverse rainforests on Earth that’s survived undisturbed for over 120 million years.
We got chatting one morning about what we were trying to achieve with our businesses, and the conversation went something like this:
Henry (WAE): I’m trying to inspire a movement of everyday explorers by capturing the spirit of the outdoor adventure and amplify the beauty of the natural world. We’ve built a community of people who give a fuck about the state we leave our planet, ’cause where will we adventure if it’s gone?!
Kelvin (R4F): Sweet. My mission is to protect wildlife, the climate, people and the planet.
Henry: Sounds easy enough mate.
Kelvin: It’s funding these projects that’s the tricky part. Our challenge is finding people who care and want to do something about it. In fact, we’ve recently secured Lot 305, a hectare plot of pristine rainforest and we have six months to pay $25,000 for it.
*** Cue raised eyebrows and scheming stares at each other. ***
It would seem the universe threw us an errand to run.
The Crowdfunding Campaign Begins…
Within a matter of days, the scheming developed into full-blown planning sessions and Googling ‘how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign’. Kate (our campaign manager) headed up to see the property with Kelvin, meet the Traditional Owners (who we’re buying the land with), hang out with cassowaries, capture some shots and set to work building out the campaign.
And, here we are.
On the 14th November, we’re going live with a crowdfunding campaign to raise $25,000 and protect this slice of rainforest forever. We’d love for you to get involved and donate whatever you can to the project. All money raised goes directly to the purchase of the land and there’ll be a variety of juicy rewards for certain pledge levels. Assuming we’re successful, we’re even taking a handful of campaign backers to see the Daintree on an adventure and conservation weekend next year.