Various ongoing threats, such as climate change and the timber industry, continue to plague the unique ecosystems of south-west Western Australia. Various species are coming under pressure and time may be running out for people to experience the serenity and cacophony of these forests in all their splendour.
To help raise awareness about this, a 1000-kilometre Walk For Forests is taking place this year.
Beginning on September 29 in Albany, in southern WA, and ending in Perth on December 13, the walk will pass through the forests of south-west WA, allowing participants to witness the current state of the natural environment.
The event is being organised by The Great Walk for Peace, which grew out of The Great Walk Network founded in 1988 by concerned citizens who walked from Denmark to the steps of Parliament House in Perth to deliver a charter to the state premier, raising awareness for the native forests along the way.
Due to these efforts, and those of other organisations, old-growth forests were supposedly protected and national parks created. The movement has continued since then, with many family-friendly walks taking place.
The 2019 Great Walk of Peace is centred around three pillars: self-development; community building and environment. It aims to bring together people of all walks of life to stand together, hear differing opinions on forest management, and create spaces of peace and understanding.
While grassroots forest conservation has often been associated with confrontational protest tactics, the Great Walk of Peace is intended to serve as a platform for open communication between conservationists and timber industry representatives, in the hope of dissolving tribalism and allowing the value of the forests to speak for itself.