The partnership with conservation startup Wilderlands will enable the Festival to secure some of the world’s first voluntary biodiversity units which promise permanent protection of one square metre plots of land and 20 years of management within high ecological value projects across Australia.

Adelaide Festival Chief Executive Kath M Mainland said the commitment reflected a critical moment for environmental action and she believes it is the responsibility of the Adelaide Festival, in collaboration with others, to demonstrate the potential of art and science to act on climate.

“Adelaide Festival is committed to being part of the global conversation and playing our part to reverse nature loss by 2030, which includes protecting our old growth forests, ecosystems and endangered species and habitat ecosystems.”


Adelaide Festival audiences have the opportunity to protect their very own one square metre patch within the Coorong Lakes project by registering on the Wilderlands website.

“By encouraging our audiences, artists, and partners to join us in supporting these initiatives, we hope to further raise awareness of and promote effective finance mechanisms that increase funding towards nature-based solutions.”


The campaign has a collective goal to reach 3030 sqm of vulnerable habitat protected in recognition of the recent announcement by the Australian Government who have joined 190 countries in committing to protect 30% of nature by 2030.

Sustainability Officer Beatrice Jeavons said the campaign builds on the Adelaide Festival’s environmental commitments and encourages audiences to join the Festival in contributing to biodiversity protection and reforestation. 

“There was no better place to start by supporting a project in our own backyard of the Coorong region.”

Beatrice Jeavons

The Coorong Lakes project is a conservation reserve that has received global recognition due to the innovative partnership between renowned biodiversity protection organisation Cassinia Environmental and the Traditional Owners of the region, the Ngarrindjeri people, who are working together to preserve one of Australia’s most important wetland areas.

The project is host to a rich diversity of native plants and animals, including the rare Cleland’s Beard-heath (Leucopogon clelandii) and the rare and elusive Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans). Conservation priorities include buffering remnant patches of vegetation through revegetation of native species in areas of the land that have been formerly cleared from agriculture, as well as ensuring native seed collection and nursery propagation for supplementary planting of rare plants.

Wilderlands Lead Ecologist Deanna Marshall discovering a wedge-tailed eagle nest during a recent visit to the Coorong Lakes project

Wilderlands CEO Ash Knop said the partnership is reflective of a growing number of organisations looking to include biodiversity protection as a priority for their business while also looking for solutions which can help provide assurances of where their money is going.

“What makes us unique is that every Biological Diversity Unit is geotagged and certified so you can zoom in and see exactly where you’re supporting and receive reports from our ecologists on the ground – we know this level of transparency is important for both individuals and organisations.”

Ash Knop

Since launching in August 2022, Wilderland has protected over 50,000 square metres of vulnerable Australian habitat across four projects including Crowes Lookout and Budgerum in Victoria, Alleena in New South Wales, and Coorong Lakes in South Australia.

The 2023 Adelaide Festival was held from the 3rd – 19th of March . The Festival has become one of the most significant cultural events in Australia, celebrating arts and showcasing opera, theatre, dance and music in locations across Adelaide and the surrounding regions. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with Adelaide Festival and it’s great to see them become one of the first events to truly commit to taking action and embed this type of environmental impact into their program.”

Ash Knop

About Adelaide Festival

As an iconic event for our community,  Adelaide Festival strives to be an exemplar of environmental responsibility. We know that we can make a vital and significant contribution to a future that we want our children to inherit and we recognise the global climate and biodiversity crisis as the greatest threat to this future. We understand the importance of international collaboration and cooperation across industries and through cultural relations to create shared development solutions.

We feel it is important to be part of the community leading climate change action to help our environment and economy. Achieving carbon neutrality at the Festival was a huge step in the right direction, but by no means represents the end of the Festival’s emissions reduction journey. In 2022, we teamed up with Reforest to support reforestation projects around Australia. This year, in addition to our continued relationship with Reforest, we are excited to be partnering with Wilderness to protect habitat and biodiversity in the Coorong Lakes.

Adelaide Festival showcases how business, live performance and audiences can come together to support reforestation, biodiversity and conservation of nature. 

About Wilderlands

Wilderlands have developed one of the world’s first voluntary biodiversity units and created a platform to make it easy for individuals and organisations to start protecting nature today

The Biological Diversity Unit (BDU) represents a 1sqm plot of permanently-protected and actively managed land in high ecological value projects across Australia.

Each unit is geotagged enabling supporters to zoom in and see the exact location of their units via their personal profile page and receive regular reports from expert ecologists on the ground and watch as nature flourishes thanks to their support.

Wilderlands have developed a proprietary methodology that leverages state conservation covenant regulations as well as incorporating leading ecosystem management practices designed by ecologists to promise permanent protection and help fund the first 20 years of project management.

Wilderlands currently supports four projects across Australia including Coorong Lakes, Crowes Lookout, Alleena, and Budgerum.

Since launching in early August 2022, Wilderlands have protected over 50,000 square metres of vulnerable ecosystems with supporters ranging from individuals through to large organisations, philanthropists and several environmental advisory groups.

Wilderlands have been selected to be part of the United Nations Biodiversity Credits Alliance after being invited to attend their Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal in December.

Wilderlands have also been part of the inaugural Silverstrand Biodiversity Accelerator as well as selected for the Melbourne Accelerator Program, and received coverage from major publications including the Wall Street Journal, World Economic Forum, Australian Financial Review, ABC, Startup Daily and many more outlets.

Learn how we can help you start protecting Australia’s precious biodiversity today.