Australasian event management company Arinex has become the first to trial a new reforestation project open to business event groups visiting Tropical North Queensland. While in Cairns for the Arinex Conference, team members had an opportunity to learn about and revitalise the endangered ecosystem of the Wongabel Mabi Forest Restoration project. The team funded planting enough native trees to remove the non-travel-related carbon emissions generated by the conference.
The project is situated on the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns and is the only one involving Mabi Forest species. It is a collaboration between Reforest (a company that assists businesses in taking climate action), Terrain (an environmental management organisation), and the local community. With support from Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ), their goal is to revegetate an area previously cleared for forestry and agriculture by enlisting the help of businesses and individuals.
Nicole Walker, Managing Director of Arinex, said empowering clients to reduce their event carbon footprints is a priority for the company. The team was privileged to be the first to trial the reforestation project.
“This project highlights a practical and impactful way that sustainability can be incorporated into conference and incentive programs,” Nicole Walker said. “We were able to give back to the Cairns region and make a positive environmental impact through hands-on work. We look forward to extending this opportunity to our clients.”
Reforest CEO Daniel Walsh said the Wongabel Mabi Forest restoration was one way they were helping businesses drive change through carbon removal activities that are engaging and personalised for customers and event attendees. “This project demonstrates how corporate responsibility can go beyond carbon offsetting to create tangible positive outcomes for local ecosystems and communities. We hope that other business events will join Arinex in supporting reforestation initiatives like this one,” he said.
Terrain CEO Stewart Christie said the important restoration activity would contribute to the preservation of the critically endangered Mabi Forest ecosystem: “We are thrilled that Arinex and their team members could participate in this project and hope it inspires other business events to take similar steps towards sustainable tourism and conservation.”
TTNQ CEO, Mark Olsen, noted that including a corporate social responsibility aspect in an event itinerary is a fulfilling way to impact a destination beyond the event’s influence positively: “The Wongabel Mabi Forest restoration project is an exemplary model of regenerative tourism and part of a larger set of sustainable tourism initiatives that allow visitors to positively impact the Cairns region while exploring the area during their visit.”
Arinex followed up their reforestation efforts with a broader tour of the region, including Lake Eacham, the mountain village of Kuranda and the Caravonica lakes.
For more information on CSR opportunities in Cairns, visit Business Events Cairns.