Indigenous land and sea management is critical to Australia’s current and future frontline response to managing biodiversity and cultural values across land and sea. Australia’s growing Indigenous Protected Area estate covers over 74m hectares making up almost half of all protected areas on land. With more than 130 separate teams of community led Indigenous Rangers Australia wide working in many different local contexts, it is vital that we learn from the lessons of past decades to strengthen our approach going forward.
This new report from Country Needs People, “Strong on Country: Sustaining Success in Indigenous Land and Sea Management in Australia” sets out key areas of focus that are central to a creating successful working environment for Indigenous rangers, Indigenous Protected Areas, and related caring for country work. The report analyses the common themes and elements of success across the sector and makes clear recommendations for sector improvement. Using case studies drawn directly from the experience of community led Indigenous organisations this report urges state and federal governments to reorient, reconnect and re-align focus on the key elements that help deliver this success.
Download report below:
The results are clear: Indigenous land and sea management in Australia achieves extraordinary things when supported by strong values and purpose, proper resourcing, and genuinely collaborative skilled support from government agencies. As the report details, it is when all these core elements are understood and supported that the conditions for success are created.
Strong on Country offers 28 practical recommendations for policymakers across 12 key areas of focus that, if taken up seriously by governments, will ensure Indigenous land and sea management can continue to thrive while delivering its proven benefits for nature, culture, individuals, and community.
By properly valuing, understanding, and supporting this work we can better honour the efforts of the many elders and traditional owners who have never wavered in their determination to keep country, culture and people healthy. As we go forward to face the many challenges of a changing climate, increased pressures on our biodiversity and the rich and vibrant cultural heritage of Australia we hope this report can be used to strengthen our approach from the top down and the bottom up for the benefit of all those who care for country for the sake of a better future for all our children