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Report highlights value of Indigenous Ranger Programs

Report highlights value of Indigenous Ranger Programs
April 2, 2017

A new report has highlighted the value of Indigenous rangers in helping to prevent habitat loss and species decline across Australia.

The Country Needs People alliance - which represents dozens of ranger groups across the country - said it should be an incentive for the Federal Government to commit to extending funding for Indigenous Protected Areas.

The report found multiple examples of ranger groups, in each state and territory, controlling fires and destroying feral animals and weeds.

The Prime Minister's Indigenous Affairs adviser, Chris Sarra, said he supported a call to expand ranger numbers.

In the report, Dr Sarra said rangers were succeeding because supporting their work encouraged self-determination and connection to country.

He stated "that success is built on the strength of our connection to culture and country."

Country Needs People also called on the Government to set an ambitious target to employ an extra 4,200 Indigenous rangers by 2022.

Funding for 800 rangers has been given a lifeline by the Federal Government until 2020, but funding to operate the 75 Indigenous Protected Areas they work on runs out in the middle of next year.

In a related development, the new Western Australian Government is to continue backing Aboriginal employment through a $20 million Indigenous Ranger Program, aiming for school-based conservation programs to create Western Australia's next generation of park rangers.

More than 3,700 primary and secondary students from across the Western Australia currently participate in the Bush Rangers and River Rangers programs co-ordinated by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Significantly, Bush Rangers has 26% Aboriginal and 47% female participation, the highest rates across all Cadets WA programs.

More than 100 Bush Ranger and River Ranger unit leaders met in Perth last week to exchange ideas and plan program activities over the next 12 months.

Commenting on the program, Western Australian Environment Minister Stephen Dawson stated “the Bush Rangers programs in the Kimberley and other remote parts of the State have been highly successful in creating pathways for careers in conservation and land management with Parks and Wildlife.

"The (Western Australian) Government is building on these pathways by investing $20 million over the next five years to provide more opportunities for Aboriginal rangers through an Indigenous Ranger Program.

"It will be focused on jobs for Aboriginal rangers in Indigenous Protected Areas, on indigenous tenures and in national parks.

"By providing more Aboriginal employment opportunities, the Indigenous Ranger Program will bring significant jobs, social and economic benefits to communities in regional and remote WA.

"The new program will complement existing indigenous ranger training and development programs. These programs are a significant investment in the future of parks, native animals and plants in WA.

"By giving young people the opportunity to contribute to their communities by developing land management skills, we can help them form a life-long appreciation for WA's natural environment."

Image: Karajarri Rangers working for the Kimberley Land Council.

12th November 2016 - GNOWANGERUP COMMUNITY SWIMMING POOL GETS OFFICIAL OPENING

28th July 2016 - INDIGENOUS RANGERS LOBBY FOR MORE POSITIONS 

27th May 2016 - QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT PROTECTS INTEGRITY OF NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM WITH NEW CONSERVATION LEGISLATION

18th April 2016 - INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY OPENS OLKOLA NATIONAL PARK TO TOURISM 

1st August 2015 - LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK CELEBRATES ITS 100TH BIRTHDAY ON WORLD RANGER DAY

24th March 2015 - END OF MINING PLANS PAVES WAY FOR CREATION OF AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST NATIONAL PARK 

13th March 2015 - NEW TOURISM PLAN TO OPEN UP REMOTE INDIGENOUS AREAS IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY 

30th July 2014 - ACT CELEBRATES WORLD RANGER DAY 


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