Bronze Future Policy Award 2017: Desertification
Two Australian Government programs have won a prestigious international environmental award.
The award recognises that these programs are among the best policies in the world for combating land degradation and desertification.
Congratulations must also go to the many Indigenous rangers and communities whose commitment to country has maximised the benefits from these programs to Australia’s ancient landscape.
The IPA program assists Indigenous communities to voluntarily dedicate their land or sea country as protected areas, promoting a balance between conservation and land use for social, cultural and economic benefits to those communities.
IPAs support communities to establish partnerships with conservation and commercial organisations, which lead to employment, education and training opportunities for community members.
IPAs are recognised by the Government as part of Australia’s National Reserve System, protecting the nation’s biodiversity for the benefit of all Australians.
There are currently 75 IPAs in Australia covering more than 65 million hectares comprising more than 45 per cent of Australia’s National Reserve System.
The Indigenous Rangers program creates meaningful employment, training and career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The program supports 114 Indigenous ranger groups to protect and manage their land, sea and culture. The Indigenous Ranger program is a great example of the traditional knowledge of our First Australians being combined with modern scientific know-how to improve environmental outcomes on country
It is not only leading to better environmental outcomes, but is providing valuable employment opportunities for more than 2500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The award will be presented at a ceremony during the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Ordos, China scheduled from 6-16 September 2017.