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Protecting Cape York Peninsula’s environment and ensuring a conservation and cultural economy flourishes has long term benefits for Cape York communities.
Cape York faces increasing development pressure and conservation risk, and Indigenous communities remain significantly disadvantaged. Its unique environmental and cultural values need to be protected and managed by its community.
A conservation and cultural economy values land and culture, and in doing so provides long-term economic opportunities for the region.
We actively support Indigenous communities through land tenure processes, application for World Heritage listing, and provide assistance to Indigenous community partners on conservation and cultural issues.
The Cape York land tenure reform process is overseeing the return of land to Traditional Owners. It seeks to correct the historical wrong of dispossession of country, returning it to its rightful owners for joint management.
So far over 1,500,716 hectares of land has been returned to Traditional Owners. It is an important first step toward securing long term economic and environmental sustainability on Cape York, providing a foundation for economic initiatives.
We are committed to nominating appropriate areas of Cape York Peninsula for World Heritage listing with the consent of Traditional Owners. We believe with proper investment in culturally and environmentally appropriate economic enterprises, Cape York’s communities can fully benefit from a World Heritage listing.
We are committed to advocating for a Cape York World Heritage economic package to assist communities on the Cape. This should include:
• Resources for the operations of land and sea centres
• Investment in natural and cultural heritage management
• Indigenous-driven national park and World Heritage administration
• Employment and economic strategies in conservation sector jobs
• Training, education and skill capacity building initiatives
With suitable foundations such as these in place, World Heritage listing has the potential to then will provide Cape York Peninsula with long term conservation and cultural protection, and bring tangible socio-economic opportunities to the region.
Read about the incredible natural and cultural features of Cape York that are worthy of World Heritage listing.
Since the 1980s we have enjoyed a strong partnership with the Wuthathi people from Shelbourne Bay, on the north east coast of Cape York. Our alliance with The Wuthathi was formed to prevent sand mining at Shelburne Bay.
The Wuthathi are gaining tenure and exclusive rights to almost all of their traditional homelands through the land tenure reform process and the Commonwealth’s Native Title process. One of the most significant parcels of land to be returned to Wuthathi ownership has been the 80,000 hectare Shelburne pastoral lease.
Read about the Wuthathi Cultural Regeneration Project and how we are working towards building a culture and conservation economy in Cape York Peninsula.
Kuku Yalanji people
ACF has worked with the Kuku Yalanji people, from Mossman to Cooktown on the southern east coast of Cape York, to produce the Yalanji Warranga Kaban Yalanji People of the Rainforest Fire Management Book.
We are currently assisting Kuku Yalanji in their investigations into an Indigenous Protected Area community planning project with the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation.
Click here to read more about the Indigenous Protected Area planning project.