The Australian Government has announced funding to support up to 25 million hectares of Indigenous-owned land to be recognised through 14 Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs).
This will have the potential to add to the more than 50 million hectares already under 67 IPAs which are delivering cost-effective environmental, cultural, social, health and wellbeing, and economic benefits to Indigenous communities.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, jointly announced funding of $7.217 million over four years for the 14 IPA projects.
“Protecting these regions under IPAs will ensure the ancient knowledge of Indigenous people of their land is supported by contemporary practices,” Minister Scullion said.
“As well as protecting biodiversity and cultural resources into the future we are providing employment, education and training opportunities for people in remote areas.
“IPAs provide the workplace for around half of Australia’s Working on Country projects which employ local Indigenous people as rangers to care for land, sea and heritage.
“Declaring their lands to be an Indigenous Protected Area allows traditional owners to balance caring for their country with pursuing sustainable enterprise, agriculture, mining and other opportunities.”
Funding for the 14 IPA projects announced today will allow Indigenous land owners to plan, declare and manage their lands as part of Australia’s National Reserve System, which aims to protect 17 per cent of bioregions in Australia by 2020.
“IPAs make a significant contribution to protecting Australia’s native plant and animal species in the National Reserve System,” Minister Hunt said.
Download media release:
2014-09-26 MR – SCULLION-HUNT – 14 Indigenous Protected Areas.pdf