Indigenous Protected Area
Jawoyn landowners and elders strongly support the establishment of an Indigenous Protected Area to help conserve and protect Jawoyn country and cultural resources for present and future generations.
Since the mid 1990s, the Australian government has administered a program to support Indigenous landholders to declare, plan and manage their own Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) as part of the National Reserve System.
At the regional and local levels, the declaration of an Indigenous Protected Area helps Indigenous communities to work together to protect their significant cultural values for future generations and receive spin-off health, education, economic and social benefits.
Indigenous Protected Areas create jobs for Indigenous men and women doing what they want to do - working and looking after their land in a healthy environment.
With a decision to explore the benefits of dedicating some or all Jawoyn lands as an Indigenous Protected Area, the Jawoyn Association appointed a consultant in 2009 to develop a land management framework for Jawoyn country.
After consultation with all relevant stakeholders including Jawoyn landowners and elders, individual community leaders and relevant Northern Territory and Federal agencies, it was recommended the Jawoyn Association further consult with traditional landowners and elders to determine their desire to declare an IPA over the majority of Jawoyn lands.
There was a strong consensus that the establishment of a Jawoyn IPA and the development of an IPA Management Plan and annual operational plans would support Jawoyn landowners, elders and their senior affiliates to better manage their country, protect their sacred sites and culturally significant areas, and facilitate the intergenerational transfer of their cultural knowledge.
It is anticipated the Jawoyn IPA will be expanded to include additional Jawoyn lands in West Arnhem Land. This will result in approximately 1,830,000 hectares of Jawoyn country included in Australia's network of protected areas so cultural sites, plants and animals are protected for the benefit of all Australians in line with international guidelines.
Because of the amount of land involved - approximately 1,830,000 hectares - it was felt a three-stage approach would allow more detailed consultation with landowners, their senior Junggayi and other senior affiliates and elders associated with specific areas of Jawoyn country.
Stage 1 - 2010
Stage 1 covers 249,028 hectares of the following Jawoyn lands, including:
- Jawoyn Aboriginal Land Trust
- Barnjarn (Northern Territory Enhanced Freehold) in Mt Todd area, north-west of Katherine
- Banatjarl in the King Valley, east of Katherine
Stage 2 - 2011
Stage 2 is proposed to encompass 511,210 hectares of land, including:
- Beswick Aboriginal Land Trust
- Eva Valley (Manyallaluk) Aboriginal Land Trust
Stage 3 - 2012
Stage 3 of the IPA will cover 1,069,762 hectares of land, involving:
- The Jawoyn estate of the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust
In the long term, it would be desirable to negotiate extension of the IPA over Nitmiluk National Park and the southern portion of Kakadu National Park to better coordinate and integrate management of the entire Jawoyn estate.
Separate discussions need to be held with the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Service regarding effective management of Jawoyn lands in the Maud Creek area.