Wet Tropics Regional Agreement

The Wet Tropics Regional Agreement (2005) provides for the cooperative management of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area by Rainforest Aboriginal people associated with the Area, and the Australian and Queensland Governments.

The Agreement addresses key recommendations from the 1998 report Which Way Our Cultural Survival - the Review of Aboriginal Involvement in the Management of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. It recognises the significant contribution Rainforest Aboriginal people make to the management of the cultural and natural resources of the Area.

The central principles of the agreement are to recognise Rainforest Aboriginal people's rights and interests and to afford them the opportunity to define and negotiate their own priorities, needs and aspirations for management of the Wet Tropics. A collaborative and equitable approach between World Heritage management agencies and Rainforest Aboriginal people is of vital importance in achieving these principles.

 

Key achievements

The main achievements of the Agreement have been:

  •  Increased participation in decision making through structural arrangements, such as the inclusion of a second Rainforest Aboriginal person on the Wet Tropics Management Authority Board. In 2006, the Queensland Government made legislative changes to ensure that at least two of the seven Directors of the Board must be Aboriginal people from the Wet Tropics.
  • Recognition of the cultural values of the Wet Tropics through support to list the World Heritage Area for its cultural values on the National Heritage List and potentially the World Heritage List (to complement its current World Heritage listing for natural values).
  • Participation in policy, planning, permitting and management through a set of principles, guidelines and very detailed protocols which outline appropriate ways to engage and involve Rainforest Aboriginal people in World Heritage management.
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