Australia’s Top End now has a huge conservation corridor
stretching from Kakadu’s stone country to the Arafura Sea,
with the declaration of two substantial new Indigenous Protected
The Warddeken IPA covers almost 1.4 million hectares of stone
and gorge country on the Arnhem Land plateau adjacent to Kakadu
National Park. the Djelk Indigenous Protected Area, more than
670,000 hectares sweeping from Warrdeken right though to the
Environment Minister Peter Garrett joined traditional owners and
Indigenous rangers from across the Top End to celebrate the
declaration of the IPAs on September 24, 2009.
North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance
(NAILSMA) Chief Executive Officer Joe Morrison believes the growing
recognition of Indigenous land and sea management is due to the
success of Indigenous land management organisations in northern
Australia, and a high level of commitment shown by Traditional
“Traditional Owners represented by the Bawinanga
Aboriginal Corporation’s Djelk Rangers and Warrddeken Land
Management are to be congratulated on the declaration of their
respective Indigenous Protected Area ,” said Mr Morrison.
“Importantly, these declarations also recognise the
inherent customary rights and obligations of Indigenous land
managers as vital if the nation is to meet its international
obligations to protect the biodiversity, cultural practices and
knowledge that have shaped the north’s unique environmental
values,” he said.
The Minister also announced a further $8.5 million investment by
the Australian Government in Indigenous Protected Areas, with just
over $6.3 million from Caring for our Country and another $2.2
million from the Indigenous Land Corporation.
“Indigenous Protected Areas are one of Australia’s
most successful conservation stories, said Mr Garrett. “They
protect Australia’s biodiversity while providing training and
employment for Aboriginal people doing work that they love on their