What is a tree worth? With all the talk about carbon and carbon tax, consider how much carbon a tree, especially a large old growth tree, would store. Wouldn’t it be easier just to keep these trees than to debate the details of a taxation system? Carbon is worth money, trees are worth money, and the koalas that need these trees are worth money. The Australian Koala Foundation have have important information about koalas and carbon.
Something that Koala Land would like to establish is what is the value of a koala. As a part of koala conservation, some scientists like Dr Steve Johnston of University of Queensland have taken this monetary approach to koalas a step further by developing koala genome banks – investing in koalas now and storing their genes for the future just in case koala numbers do keep declining, increasing the rate of survival for the koala as a species. Collecting genes allows for broader genetic bases, and, very importantly, storing koala genes is helping the recovery of koala numbers in the wild, allowing koalas to have more opportunities to respond to the pressures of urban development.
Development in a responsible way
Genome banks could provide opportunities for property developers to invest in genome bank centres that are planned into and incorporated into developments in and near koala habitat areas. Such an investment strategy could see certain percentages of the money made from these centres going back into preserving and rebuilding koala habitat. Local zoos, like Dreamworld’s zoo, can be a part of this investment network – we will talk more about this in future posts.