Action 2.4: Support Rainforest Aboriginal People to uphold and strengthen their primary substantive rights and their custodial relationships between their peoples and customary landscapes

The issue to be addressed

The Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection and Management Act 1993 acknowledges the significant contribution that Rainforest Aboriginal People make to the future management of the cultural and natural values within the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, particularly through joint management agreements. Cooperative management currently occurs across 46.9% of the World Heritage Area through Indigenous land use agreements and cooperative management agreements. Indigenous Protected Areas have been declared across 29.2% of the World Heritage Area. Land tenure resolution negotiations have commenced in some parts of the World Heritage Area (i.e. north of the Daintree River) providing an opportunity for joint management of national parks within the Eastern Kuku Yalanji estate. Limited progress has been made in establishing formal cooperative management arrangements in the central Wet Tropics (includes the Atherton Tableland) and further resources and support are required, in particular to support Indigenous ranger groups, country-based planning and land management activities.

Action we will take

The Authority will:

  • support Traditional Owner-led cultural and natural resource management initiatives (e.g. joint management, sole management or other management models)
  • embrace Rainforest Aboriginal tradition and contribution to the management of the World Heritage Area (e.g. through accessing country, permitting processes, cooperative management agreements, cultural heritage management plans, master plans, other Traditional Owner management plans, and employment opportunities within the Authority)
  • support programs, including through grants, to enhance knowledge, fulfil cultural responsibilities to country, and improve Rainforest Aboriginal People’s capacity to manage cultural and natural values on their traditional country (e.g. collaborate on clan-based planning and mapping)
  • promote Rainforest Aboriginal People’s achievements in the management of the World Heritage Area through culturally appropriate communications (e.g. Rainforest Aboriginal News).

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