A collaborative research project launched in Cairns today is making up to $40,000 available for traditional Aboriginal land and water management research to inform future practices in the Wet Tropics.
The project is being administered by the Wet Tropics Cooperative Research Partnership which is seeking expressions of interest from the research community that demonstrate best practice in Traditional Owner collaboration and engagement methodology.
The Wet Tropics Cooperative Research Partnership is an innovative new venture comprising The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation Ltd, Wet Tropics Management Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (Department of Environment & Science) and Terrain Natural Resource Management Ltd.
Ken Chapman, Chair of The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation, said the research had been identified as a strategic priority by the four partner organisations and Traditional Owner groups within the Wet Tropics.
"We are very excited by the significant potential this project holds for land managers and the environment at the local, regional and national level, and we would strongly encourage expressions of interest from research teams that are led by or include Traditional Owners," he said.
Local Rainforest Aboriginal Mamu person, Joann Schmider, said the project was directly addressing the desire of Rainforest Aboriginal peoples to systematically integrate traditional knowledge and practices into the management of the unique Wet Tropics region.
Scott Buchanan, Wet Tropics Management Authority executive director, said the project recognised the importance of Traditional Owners' biocultural expertise.
"Traditional Owners in the Wet Tropics have developed a deep understanding of their country over many thousands of years.
"Through this project we hope to engage this expertise to inform future land and water management techniques across the region," he said.
Alison Webb, Regional Director of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, said the research grant provided a great opportunity to collaborate on and enhance standards for park management in the Wet Tropics.
"QPWS is very supportive of initiatives that link science and traditional ecological knowledge to improve on-ground outcomes," she added.
Terrain NRM's Bart Dryden said the project would further enhance the ongoing collaboration between Traditional Owners and Terrain staff on activities such as fire management, weed control and revegetation.
"Working with and learning from Traditional Owners is an important part of our role in the Wet Tropics. We see this project, which we are contributing to via Terrain NRM's Natural Capital Fund, as a way to further engage Traditional Owners and benefit all of us in management of country," he said.
It is anticipated the research project will be conducted over an 18 month period. Expressions of interest forms can be obtained by emailing ao@Skyrail.com.au
Completed forms should be forwarded to ao@Skyrail.com.au
The closing date for submissions is COB 26th October 2018