New collaboration strengthens management of sea country in the Kimberley Marine Park
Parks Australia and the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation have taken an important step towards strengthening management of sea country in the Kimberley region with the signing of a partnership agreement.
The agreement will see marine park managers, Uunguu Rangers and Traditional Owners working alongside one another to ensure traditional knowledge is reflected in the management of the Uunguu Coast Zone of the Kimberley Marine Park.
“We are really excited about working together with the Wunambal Gaambera people,” said Michelle Glover, Senior Marine Parks Officer at Parks Australia.
“It is important to us that Traditional Owners are engaged in the planning and management of Australian Marine Parks. Through this partnership, we will undertake projects with Wunambal Gaambera people and their Uunguu Rangers on aspects of management, like research into the vulnerable hawksbill turtle.
“Working together brings important recognition of sea country and an opportunity to communicate and celebrate these incredible values while ensuring they’re protected into the future.”
Wunambal Gaambera Wundaagu (Saltwater Country) covers outer islands and deep sea across 3400 km2 of the Uunguu Coast, from the St George Basin to Napier Broome Bay and includes the Rob Roy Reefs and Holothuria Banks.
“As part of our Uunguu Wundaagu (Saltwater) Management Plan to keep our Country and Culture healthy, we work together with Parks Australia on activities to manage our sea country, like our Uunguu Visitor Pass, so we can manage people on our country and look after our cultural sites,” said Neil Waina, Head Uunguu Ranger.
“We have dedicated our Wundaagu (Saltwater) as an Indigenous Protected Area to bring our values to the Kimberley Marine Park.”
“This partnership is good for us. We, the Wunambal Gaambera people are working together with Parks Australia to achieve our goal; to protect our reefs, our fish life, our Wundaagu.”
Other projects undertaken as part of the partnership will cover areas of marine science, tourism, communication and compliance. There are 58 Australian Marine Parks around the country. They are managed to protect the natural, cultural, socio-economic and heritage values of Australia’s offshore marine environment, delivering benefits for all Australians.
Kimberley Marine Park is one of three Australian Marine Parks in the region and it is a known hotspot for turtles and dugong, culturally important species for Wunambal Gaambera people.
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