Rangers have been employed to manage a recently dedicated Indgenous Protected Area (IPA), within the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Listed area.
The recently launched Eastern Kuku Yalanji Rangers IPA Program ensures that the Yalanji clans provide advice on the future management of World Heritage areas in the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. The new five man team includes a Cultural Heritage Ranger, a ranger coordinator and three generalist rangers.
The highly biologically diverse landscapes of the iconic regions where the new program works, encompass the traditional homelands and sea country of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji, a tribal group made up of a clans whose members take part in the management of their bubu (country).
Eastern Kuku Yalanji lands extend from south of Port Douglas north to the Annan River near Cooktown, and west to the Great Dividing Range. A number of clans, including the Kuku Nyungkal and the Jalunji-Warra, manage dedicated IPAs on individual clan estates. The clan estate of the Yalanji –Warra is to have land and sea country dedicated under the IPA program in the near future.
Projects carried out by the rangers are designed for the successful managemant of country as well as to underpin the importance and maintenance of culture.
New IPA Manager Simeon Miglioranza says the new classification of land is an exciting cultural revolution.
“It hands back the opportunity to manage country and maintain deep connection to culture, back to the people,” he said.
According to Simon, this program is a win-win situation for all involved. As the partnerships developes, it ensures future sustainable management of the natrual assets with assistance from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and The Wet Tropics Management Authority.
Yalanji Ranger staff are currently involved with projects that include: eradication of weeds, maintenance of old burial sites, mapping of cultural heritage sites and recording findings in a cultural and ecological information management system database. Ranger staff are to be trained to use the new database.
Forward planning by Jabalbina, the prescribed corpoarte body delivering the IPA Program, encompasses the employmnet of increased ranger staff, maintaining Kuku Yalanji country through the management of land sea projects.