One hundred Indigenous Protected Area and Working on Country rangers and managers will be provided with financial support from the Australian Government to attend the World Parks Congress in Sydney starting today.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said funding of up to $77,000 has been provided to ensure that Indigenous rangers and managers are a part of setting the agenda for protected area conservation for the next ten years.
“The World Parks Congress is held every ten years and over this time it has made significant advances in recognising Indigenous rights, involvement and leadership across the international parks agenda,” Minister Scullion said.
“Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) play a vital role in implementing the Australian Government’s commitment under the International Convention on Biological Diversity to protect 17 per cent of Australia’s terrestrial and inland waters by 2020.
“IPAs are established by Indigenous organisations on Indigenous-owned or jointly managed land or sea that can be used sustainably to generate economic and social benefits while protecting natural and cultural values.
“IPA projects are an example of the Government’s preference for taking a place-based approach to community ownership and decision making at the local level to address local issues.”
Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said IPAs are an important part of Australia’s conservation and protected area management efforts.
“There are currently 67 declared IPAs covering more than 50 million hectares of Australia, and comprising more than 40 per cent of the National Reserve System’s area,” Minister Hunt said.
“IPAs are regarded internationally as a successful model for combining protected area management and community development.”
Programme streams to be discussed at this year’s WPC are highly relevant for IPA management practices and include conservation goals, climate change, improving health and wellbeing, respecting traditional knowledge and culture and inspiring a new generation.