|Indigenous Protected Areas and Working on Country Program|
Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) are areas identified by Traditional Owners as country to be managed for conservation under the categories set by the International Union for Conservation. There are now five Indigenous Protected Areas within the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands. Watarru and Walalkara which have been declared since 2000, Kalka –Pipalyatjara declared since 2010 and the newly declared Apara –Makiri –Punti and Antara – Sandy Bore Indigenous Protected Areas.
In 2008 the IPA program became strongly linked with the Working On Country program (WOC). The two funding streams complement each other for wages, training, and on-ground activities.
Most activities on the IPA’s are on-going and routine; they are implemented in accordance with the respective Management Plan and with support from other Land Management Projects. Activities routinely include: patch burning for wildfire and habitat management; monitoring and surveying for threatened species; rock hole monitoring and cleaning; monitoring sacred sites.
A highlight of the Walalkara year was a week-long training trip undertaken with Fregon School to Roxby Downs Arid Recovery Program. On this trip 8 students gained modules in Certificate 1 in Conservation and Land Management, relating to fauna trapping techniques, measurement and identification of fauna, tracking transect and radio tracking.
Early in 2008 Robin Kanpakantja and Antjala Robin retired as rangers for Walalkara IPA. APY would like to congratulate them on their great work at Walalkara as part of APYLM since the unit started around 18 years ago. They will continue to work casually with the IPA program, as their knowledge and mentoring will still be required for Alec and Joyce Robin who have taken over as the Rangers for the Walalkara IPA program.
An important outcome for this year has been the revision of the Management Plan for Watarru IPA. It is almost 10 years since the original plan was drafted and a new plan was need to reaffirm commitment to the goals and objectives of the IPA and to the provide direction for the next few years. The consultant spent several weeks at Watarru talking with all senior Anangu involved and brought all of these ideas together at several community meetings. A draft plan of management has been produced by the consultant that will be endorsed by the Community and the IPA Program (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts) in the coming year.
Another achievement was the construction of a ‘shed tank’ - a water catchment shaped like a shed that feeds a tank and provides emergency water in remote areas. Several Anangu from Watarru undertook on-ground training with a volunteer from Indigenous Community Volunteers in its construction. The shed tank was built at Atuti west of Watarru. This is now an ideal spot for people to camp out, particularly during tjakura work, and improves the OH+S relating to water security when working in the IPA.
Potential for Developing IPA’s
Similar on-ground works were undertaken in all three potential IPA’s this financial year. Highlights of the work were: