70% of the Kimberley is native title determined land, meaning that Aboriginal people have rights to and interests in these lands land and waters according to their traditional law and customs, as set out in Australian Law.
Sixteen Aboriginal ranger groups and their associated traditional owners are the major land managers in the region, managing weeds, fire and feral animals, protecting threatened species and looking after cultural heritage on their homelands.
Kimberley Aboriginal people manage nine Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) across the region, looking after the environment. IPAs are conservation reserves within Australia’s National Reserve System (NRS), and in the Kimberley cover some 90,000 sq kms on lands where people have full native title rights. Nationally, IPAs account for more than 40% of the NRS and are managed according to International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria.
See a map of the different Native Title determinations in the Kimberley here.
Since 2007, we have been collaborating with Kimberley Aboriginal ranger groups to look after, manage and document ecologically and culturally important species and ecosystems. These projects apply a combination of traditional knowledge and the best scientific methods.
These partnerships are grounded in long-term, respectful working relationships with the rangers, their communities and native title bodies, other local Aboriginal organisations, and the peak body for Aboriginal land and sea matters in the region, the Kimberley Land Council, which facilitates the IPAs and 13 of the Aboriginal ranger groups.
We also work with Nyamba Buru Yawuru who facilitate the Yawuru Country Managers, co-manage the Yawuru—Parks and Wildlife Rangers and manage IPA’s and Conservation Estate. Additionally, we have a long-standing working relationship with the Bunuba rangers who are facilitated by the Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation in partnership with Bush Heritage and Parks and Wildlife Service..