Indigenous Communities

and the Environment

Uunguu Indigenous Protected Area

Indigenous Protected Areas


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Our vision is to protect and enhance our culture and history, while encouraging and protecting the natural environment and conserving biodiversity. | Nari Nari Tribal Council

Indigenous Australians have managed their country for tens of thousands of years. An Indigenous Protected Area is an area of Indigenous-owned land or sea where traditional owners have entered into an agreement with the Australian Government to promote biodiversity and cultural resource conservation. Indigenous Protected Areas make a significant contribution to Australian biodiversity conservation - making up over a third of Australia's National Reserve System.

Indigenous Protected Areas deliver more than environmental benefits. Managing Indigenous Protected Areas helps Indigenous communities to protect their significant cultural values for future generations and receive spin-off health, education, economic and social benefits.

A north coast refuge in New South Wales

Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area

10 May 2013
Stretching over 1,114 hectares of the Lower Richmond Valley on the northern coast of New South Wales, Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area is a refuge for an extraordinary number of plants and animals. The Indigenous Protected Area is part of the traditional homelands of the Bundjalung people of Ballina and Cabbage Tree Island and creates a wildlife corridor between the region’s protected areas.

Read more about Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area

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About Indigenous Protected Areas

The Indigenous Protected Areas program supports Indigenous landowners to develop and implement plans of management for the conservation of their lands as part of Australia's National Reserve System.

There are 60 declared Indigenous Protected Areas covering just over 48 million hectares across Australia. Indigenous Protected Areas now cover an area which equates to around 36% of our National Reserve System.

What is an Indigenous Protected Area? | Sea Country Indigenous Protected Areas | Visiting Areas


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Declared Indigenous Protected Areas - Case studies

Each declared Indigenous Protected Area is actively managed by its Indigenous owners, who protect their land's plants, animals and cultural sites. The rangers work to control weeds, feral animals and wildfire, and carefully manage visitor impacts.

Every Indigenous Protected Area makes an important contribution to Australia's nation-wide network of parks and reserves, the National Reserve System.

Case studies: New South Wales | Victoria | Queensland | South Australia | Western Australia | Tasmania | Northern Territory