Bronze Future Policy Award 2017: Desertification

Bronze Future Policy Award 2017: Desertification

Indigenous Affairs Environment Indigenous Rangers - Working on Country
Thursday, 24 August 2017

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

An Indigenous woman in grey top and purple skirt walks amongst tall grass setting it on fire with a flaming torch. In her left hand she carries a long stick.

Two programs funded by the Australian Government have won a prestigious international environmental award.

The Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) and Indigenous Rangers programs are recipients of the Bronze Future Policy Award 2017: Desertification.

Awarded by the World Future Council (WFC), the award recognises that these programs are among the best policies in the world for combating land degradation and desertification.

According to the World Future Council website, “Desertification and land degradation are among the greatest environmental challenges of our time and a threat to food security, livelihoods and health of hundreds of millions of people. Drylands cover over 30% of the Earth’s land and are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation, inappropriate land use and climate variability.”

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.

Through its support for Indigenous Rangers, the Australian Government creates meaningful employment, training and career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in land and sea management. There are 114 Indigenous ranger groups protecting and managing 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  The Australian Government’s investment in the Indigenous Ranger program is at record levels with more than $550 million funding over seven years through to 2020. This investment 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.