Australia’s Daintree – the world’s oldest tropical rainforest – has been returned to its Aboriginal custodians in a historic deal.
The Unesco World Heritage site is over 180 million years old and has been home to generations of Aboriginal people.
The Eastern Kuku Yalanji people will now manage the national park with Queensland’s state government.
The Daintree borders the Great Barrier Reef and is one of Australia’s top tourism drawcards.
It is famed for its ancient ecosystem and rugged, natural beauty which includes forest vistas, wild rivers, waterfalls, gorges and white sandy beaches.
The deal also includes other Queensland national parks including Cedar Bay (Ngalba Bulal), Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) and Hope Islands – a combined area of over 160,000 hectares.
In handing formal ownership back to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people on Wednesday, the Queensland government recognised “one of the world’s oldest living cultures”.
“This agreement recognises their right to own and manage their Country, to protect their culture, and to share it with visitors as they become leaders in the tourism industry,” said Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon in a statement. […]
Continue reading: Daintree: World Heritage rainforest handed back to Aboriginal owners