Joint Media Release with Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey MP
Australia’s first Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), the Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area in South Australia celebrated its 20 year anniversary yesterday, with a celebration today in Nepabunna to mark this significant milestone.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, and Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, acknowledged the significant milestone and thanked the Nepabunna community for their dedication and commitment to caring for country and local employment opportunities.
“The Nepabunna community were pioneers of the Indigenous Protected Area Program, developing their own work plans and navigating their way to securing Australia’s first IPA,” Minister Scullion said.
“Nantawarrina led the way 20 years ago and their success has encouraged many other communities to participate in the IPA program.
Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said all Australians could be proud of the Nantawarrina IPAs role in this world-leading land and environmental management programme and the significant environmental, cultural and economic benefits that it delivers.
“The Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area has been proudly managed by the Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners for 20 years and its success is testament to the critical role First Australians play in managing and protecting Australia’s biodiversity and cultural heritage on behalf of all Australians.”
“IPAs provide employment opportunities for hundreds of Indigenous Australians ensuring the unique connection between the environment and cultural traditions are not lost.
“The Traditional Owners and the communities they represent who care for these areas ensure there is a balance between conservation and other sustainable uses like tourism.
“IPAs protect some of Australia’s rarest and most fragile environments for future generations while also providing social, cultural and economic benefits for local Indigenous communities.
“Australia has 75 IPAs across the country making up more than 44 per cent of the National Reserve System – further protecting the unique biodiversity of the land, the animals and cultural sites.”
The IPA Program was established in 1997 and assists Indigenous communities to voluntarily dedicate their Country to protect the biodiversity of the area. The Program also supports partnerships with conservation and commercial organisations providing employment, education and training opportunities for Indigenous people.
The Coalition Government has continued its commitment to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through the IPA Program by providing more than $180 million over ten years to 2023.
The Coalition Government in fact established Rangers and the IPA programmes under the Howard Government and will continue to champion and support the work of all of our rangers groups across the nation.