Published: 10 Mar 2020
The federal government’s commitment to funding Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas through to 2028 is a welcome recognition of the key role Indigenous-led conservation plays in protecting Australia’s environment
Today, Minister’s Wyatt and Ley have provided long-term certainty to traditional owners and Indigenous rangers throughout Australia. With over 120 Indigenous ranger groups around Australia employing nearly 840 full-time positions, Indigenous rangers now are a vital element of managing Australia’s environmental and cultural heritage over huge areas of the continent.
By extending federally funded Indigenous ranger contracts out to 2028, the federal government will allow ranger groups to plan to tackle long-term environmental threats like uncontrolled wildfires, feral animals, noxious weeds and to protect culturally significant sites.
Country Needs People spokesperson Andrew Leach said, this commitment provides long-term certainty to the Indigenous land and sea management sector that cares for nearly half of Australia’s National Reserve System through the growing Indigenous Protected Areas network.
“This announcement will mean that Indigenous rangers working on some of the natural places Australians are most proud of – rainforests, savanna, coastlines and deserts – will be better supported when working on country. Benefiting every Australian.” He said
“This 700-million-dollar commitment from the federal government recognises the need for stability and long-term planning to get the best results for culture and nature.”
“For millennia, this vast country has been cared for by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This announcement shows practical government recognition of the hard work traditional owners around Australia put into caring for country every day.”
Indigenous Rangers work to combine traditional knowledge and modern science under the guidance of elders to care for environment and culture.
An Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is an area of land or sea that is cared for by traditional owners. Traditional owners enter a voluntary agreement with the Commonwealth Government to protect biodiversity—the animals, plants and other species —and to conserve the area’s cultural resources, like sacred sites and rock art. Read more about Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas.
The Country Needs People campaign is a nonpartisan alliance of 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land and sea management organisations, the Pew Charitable Trusts and more than 100,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, who are calling to grow and secure Indigenous ranger and Indigenous Protected Area funding.