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Hi ,

Be informed about the latest projects and research in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area! We hope you enjoy this issue of our quarterly e-newsletter.

Highlights in this issue include:

> Welcome to our new committee members
> WTMA World Heritage training for Pacific Islanders
> Launch of the Tablelands revegetation project

Our Tropical Topics theme this week is ‘Light in the Rainforest’

If you have any comments, contact us on
07 4052 0533 or give us your feedback

Feel free to pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Andrew Maclean,
Executive Director

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Board Update

The Wet Tropics Management Authority Board held its 86th Board meeting in Malanda on 8 and 9 August 2011.

A major theme of discussion for the meeting on Tuesday was the services WTMA provides to Rainforest Aboriginal people. After consideration of the issues relating to the negotiation of native title settlements, the Board concluded that WTMA should continue to participate with the objective of ensuring other parties in the negotiations are informed about the World Heritage Area; and ensuring protection of World Heritage Values while respecting as far as possible the rights and aspirations of Rainforest Aboriginal people.

The Board also received a report on progress towards the completion of community development plans under the Eastern Kuku Yalanji ILUA. These plans will play an important role in realising the vision of the parties to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Native Title settlement.

The interim committee of the Rainforest Aboriginal People’s Alliance (RAPA) provided a report to the Board. The Board anticipates that once it is fully functional, RAPA will play an important role in engagement between WTMA and Rainforest Aboriginal people.

Following the meeting, the Board travelled to East Evelyn to launch the $600,000 Caring for Our Country revegetation project, and took great delight in planting some trees and getting muddy hands.

>> For a full summary of the 86th Board meeting click here.

Wet Tropics Ministerial Council

Queensland’s new Environment Minister the Hon. Vicky Darling MP chaired the meeting of the Wet Tropics Ministerial Council in Brisbane on 12 August 2011.

WTMA Board Chair Peter Valentine and WTMA Executive Director Andrew Maclean attended the meeting with the Hon. Tony Burke MP Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the Hon. Jan Jarrat MP Queensland Government Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business.

>> To view the Wet Tropics Ministerial Council Communiqué click here.

L-R WTMA Board Chair Peter Valentine, The Hon. Vicky Darling MP Queensland Minister for the Environment, The Hon. Jan Jarrat MP Queensland Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business, The Hon. Tony Burke MP Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and WTMA Executive Director Andrew Maclean.

WTMA Welcomes New Committee Members

At its August meeting the WTMA Board endorsed new committee members for the Community Consultative Committee (CCC) and Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for 2011 to 2014. We extend a warm welcome to our new and returning committee members and look forward to a successful and productive term.

CCC members

CCC members represent a broad range of community views and expertise in the Wet Tropics region. Their backgrounds and interests include conservation, education, tourism, recreation, local government, Aboriginal culture, science and primary industries.

Chair of the CCC, Ms Moni Carlisle said she sees the new, revitalised Community Consultative Committee as being the important link between land management agencies and the community. “Members are committed to action about connecting people to place here in the Wet Tropics and engaging at different levels from community to land management agencies such as WTMA. We hope to highlight the significant cultural and evolutionary landscapes of the Area using education as a tool to inform the community of its responsibilities as land managers to such a vital part of the world,” Ms Carlisle said.

>> For a list of the new CCC members for the 2011 to 2014 term click here.

SAC members

The Wet Tropics region is fortunate to have such a distinguished pool of research leaders in many and varied disciplines to call upon. The new SAC boasts researchers in the areas of natural, ecological, socio-cultural and economic sciences who are actively involved in Wet Tropics research programs.

Professor Steve Williams is the Chair of the SAC and is keen to facilitate the Authority’s learning landscapes initiative designed to promote a research agenda for the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, and the regional roadmap for climate change and its implementation. “We look forward to working with the Authority to develop and implement these programs to achieve WTMA’s aspirations in knowledge management while determining the kinds of support and resources WTMA can provide to assist in facilitating its research agenda,” Professor Williams said.

>> For a list of the new SAC members for the 2011 to 2014 term click here.

Communities and Partnerships

Wet Tropics features in Qantas Inflight Magazine

The majestic and awe inspiring Wet Tropics World Heritage Area featured in the July edition of Qantas Inflight Magazine as part of National Heritage Week. The advertorial showcased the World Heritage Area as ‘one of Australia’s jewels’ with a scenic background photo of the Daintree rainforest bordering the beach. The advertorial was made possible through funding from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the National Heritage List Sites Promotion for WTMA, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the tourism industry to raise awareness about World Heritage in north Queensland during National Heritage Week.

>> Click here to view the full feature.


Wet Tropics of Queensland in the Qantas Inflight Magazine

WTMA joins NAIDOC Week Celebrations 3 to 10 July

The popularity of NAIDOC Week in Cairns grows every year and WTMA was excited to join in the celebrations again in 2011. WTMA supported a number of Rainforest Aboriginal people to attend the official NAIDOC breakfast with the Executive Director and other staff and a number of Indigenous films were shown in-house at staff gatherings. A typical winter’s day in the tropics ensured perfect weather for the People’s Forum at Fogarty Park and staff reported that the WTMA stand and World Heritage products generated a lot of interest.

WTMA staff Joelene Gertz and Katrina Beattie at NAIDOC week’s People’s Forum

Rainforest Aboriginal People’s Alliance

Traditional Owners from the Wet Tropics area have shown their support for a regional alliance to represent Indigenous interests in the Wet Tropics. The Rainforest Aboriginal People's Alliance (RAPA) will provide assured and timely advice on cultural and natural resource management matters and support the capacity of Traditional Owners in their regions.

The Girringun Aboriginal Corporation is initially hosting the RAPA which is receiving guidance from a long- term Leadership Group. With assistance from Terrain and WTMA, Girringun has engaged a part-time coordinator to work with RAPA members in developing its core functions, structural arrangements, and business plan, including seeking long-term operational funds.

Rainforest Aboriginal News

Have you got your copy of the latest Rainforest Aboriginal News? If you’d like to download a copy click here, or if you’d like one sent to you contact Joelene Gertz on 4052 0536 or email joelene.gertz@derm.qld.gov.au.


Book Review

Let’s Warrima – dance - ballare!

Shake A Leg by the multi-talented Gunggandji man, Boori Monty Prior with Jan Ormerod is an award- winning picture book that takes a cross-cultural message and ‘shakes it up’ for children.

Travelling from a Far North Queensland pizza shop, some hungry kids get painted up in pizza sauce by an Aboriginal chef, learn how to do the crocodile dance and get taken on a journey of contemporary cultural understanding. We love it!

Told in an engaging cartoon format, this story leads you by the hand and gets your foot tapping as you learn a dance move or two.

Multi award winning including, the Winner of the 2011 Prime Minister's Literary Awards for Children's Fiction and the 2011 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year, Picture Book. Available from quality booksellers or click here.

Boori Monty Prior is a multi-talented Gungandji and Birri-Gubba man from Townsville.

Waddamulli - enjoy!
ISBN 978 174 175 8900.


Planning and Conservation

Revegetation Project Launched on the Tablelands

Animals at risk of extinction from rising temperatures will have a cool reprieve thanks to a major vegetation project launched by WTMA and its partners on the Tablelands earlier this month.

The project, funded by the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative of $600,000 over the next two years, will help restore connectivity between islands of rainforest on private land and World Heritage rainforest in the high-altitude areas of the Southern Atherton Tablelands.

Speaking at the launch, WTMA Board Chairperson Peter Valentine acknowledged the many partners and volunteers that are involved in the project, and applauded the Australian Government’s commitment to building more climate resilient landscapes. “Restoring landscape connectivity and strengthening the ecological integrity of the Wet Tropics on the Tablelands will help to protect the unique species and characteristics of the World Heritage Area,” Assoc Prof Valentine said.

The project is a collaboration between private landholders, JCU scientists, conservation volunteers, government and regional councils. Six thousand trees have already been planted over two hectares with up to 20,000 trees to be planted over another four hectares. The areas were identified as key priorities by climate modelling scientists at James Cook University (JCU).

Species such as Golden bowerbirds, Lumholtz tree kangaroos and Herbert River ringtail possums are limited to cooler, high altitude rainforest and are considered at risk if the temperature rises by as little as one degree Celsius.

WTMA Board Member Dr Alastair Birtles and Keith Smith planting trees at the revegetation project

World Heritage Training for Pacific Islanders

The magnificent Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area was a fitting backdrop for a World Heritage workshop with delegates from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati World Heritage Areas from 22 to 24 June.

The workshop helped the representatives to complete their six year Periodic Report on the state of conservation in their respective World Heritage sites that is presented to the World Heritage Committee.

WTMA executive director Andrew Maclean says the Authority was excited by the opportunity to strengthen its role as a mentor to other World Heritage sites in the region.

“WTMA has extensive experience in preparing periodic reports in our role as the managing body of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area. As periodic reporting only occurs every six years, this is the first time many of the countries involved in the training will submit a periodic report,” Mr Maclean said.

The training is part of the “Strengthening World Heritage Governance in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands” project supported by AusAID’s Pacific Public Sector Linkages Program. The project aims to support Pacific Island Countries in the ability to meet their obligations under the World Heritage Convention.

Trainees of the workshop are expected to report on Pheonix Island Protected Area, Kiribati (inscribed 2010); Kuk Early Agricultural Site, Papua New Guinea (inscribed 2008); Chief Roi Mata’s Domain, Vanuatu (inscribed 2008); and East Rennell, Solomon Islands (inscribed 1998).

WTMA project manager Steve Goosem with Tekimwau Otiawa
from Kiribati

Expanding Rainforests and Rose Gums
By Doctoral Researcher David Tng

Experienced bushmen, rangers and environmental scientists will all relate to the intriguing story of Wet Tropics World Heritage Area rainforest expanding – but this has not always been a cause for celebration. These expanding rainforests have led to concerns that the tall Rose Gum (Eucalyptus grandis) forests, usually found on rainforest margins, will eventually be engulfed.

Some researchers and land managers have thought that expansion of tropical rainforests in the Wet Tropics is due to changed fire regimes since European colonisation, associated pastoral activities, or a changing climate.

David Tng is a Doctoral Researcher from the University of Tasmania, who is researching the rate of landscape changes and condition associated with recent rainforest expansion in the Wet Tropics. WTMA is hosting David as an in-kind contribution to this important project.

>> For more information about David’s research click here.

Australian Tropical Rainforest Plant Identification Courses

The Australian Tropical Herbarium and WTMA are once again running plant identification short courses. Courses are open to the public and include introductory and advanced rainforest plant identification modules in addition to a weed identification module.

Download the brochure
here or phone 4042 1837 or email enquiry@ath.org.au to register.

Tropical Topics


Light in the Rainforest

>> Read more on Tropical Topics here.

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