Action 2.1: Implement a rights-based approach to World Heritage Area management in the Wet Tropics

The issue to be addressed

The strategic objective of the 1972 World Heritage Convention is ‘to enhance the role of communities in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention’. This highlights the need to respect and support community involvement in World Heritage processes. Where rights issues are not addressed appropriately, a range of issues can emerge. The Authority recognises Rainforest Aboriginal roles in management of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area and is committed to engaging with Rainforest Aboriginal People in a rights-based approach. This means being sensitive to both natural and cultural factors and the realisation of related human rights. The Authority continues to collaborate with Rainforest Aboriginal People to increase understanding of rights-based approaches, to identify effective approaches and to develop possible tools that would ensure rights issues are appropriately considered in all of the Authority’s programs.

Action we will take

The Authority will reinforce and strengthen relationships with our partners, including Rainforest Aboriginal People, and continue to collaborate with Rainforest Aboriginal People, government and non-government organisations to:

  • increase implementation of rights-based approaches (e.g. in the context of the Authority’s functions: address relevant articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and use free, prior and informed consent processes)
  • identify and support culturally appropriate engagement protocols
  • acknowledge, recognise and endorse the range of Traditional Owner decision-making processes
  • partner with QPWS to align with best practice ethical guidelines to resolve concerns around research and commercial activity permits.

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