A Huge Win for Country – Seven New Indigenous Protected Areas

Published: 3 Sep 2021

Seven new Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) now in planning is a huge win for Country. Responding to today's announcement from Ministers Ken Wyatt and Sussan Ley, the Executive Director of Country Needs People, Patrick O’Leary said:

“This announcement of initiating plans for seven new Indigenous Protected Areas is real recognition of traditional owner leadership in caring for, and healing, Country.

“There are currently 78 IPAs covering over 74 million hectares of land and 4 million hectares of sea country. Over the coming years, with millions of hectares more in planning, IPAs will make up over 50% of Australia's National Reserve System and will be a key policy for Australia to meet its responsibilities to manage nature and protect important cultural values,” Mr O’Leary said.

IPAs are a partnership led by Traditional Owners and supported by the Australian Government. They operate with a plan of management over an area of Country declared by the Traditional Owners for its cultural and environmental values.

IPA plans detail priorities for managing sacred and culturally significant sites and tackling environmental threats like feral animals, invasive weeds, and large destructive wildfires.

“IPAs help protect a huge area and variety of land and sea country the rainforests, deserts, savannah, bushlands and tropical seas that all Australians take pride in. It’s important that we keep growing the funding for IPAs and keep supporting them,” said Mr O'Leary.

“The Indigenous Protected Area program is a proven winner. IPAs are an innovative means of Traditional Owners asserting management over Country and delivering strong economic, cultural and social benefits to the communities that manage them.

“We are proud to have had a hand in helping develop some of these successful IPA applications. We’d love to see even more growth in IPAs because we know the demand is out there from Traditional Owners Australia-wide.”

Country Needs People congratulates the following successful IPA applications and their Traditional Owners who will now undertake consultations identifying the values they want to protect and developing a management plan for Country.

Masigalal - Torres Strait, QLD
Magani Lagaugal Torres Strait, QLD
Nykina Mangala Kimberley, WA
Warramba garr wambooriny Kimberley,WA
Ngurra Kayanta Great Sandy Desert, WA
Umpila Cape York, QLD
Mayala Kimberley, WA