Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program
Through the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program, the Queensland Government partners with Indigenous communities to care for land and sea country, provide jobs and training and engage future generations.
In 2017 the Queensland Government boosted funding for the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program, bringing the number of funded rangers to over 100 across 23 regional and remote communities.
Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger groups work to conserve Queensland’s important ecosystems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage in locations stretching from Cape York to the Bunya Mountains.
The $12M per annum program, administered by the Department of Environment and Science (DES), assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations with grants to employ Indigenous Land and Sea ranger teams. It delivers training, networking and partnership support for ranger groups.
Indigenous Land and Sea rangers deliver negotiated work plans that reflect Traditional Owner, local community, and Queensland Government priorities. Their activities include a wide range of environmental and cultural heritage conservation and community engagement activities.
Conservation work can include feral animal and pest plant control, soil conservation, cultural heritage recording and protection, biodiversity and species monitoring and managed burns. Community engagement activities can include Junior Ranger activities, school based and other traineeships, support for disaster recovery and contributions to local community events.
Indigenous Land and Sea rangers are often Traditional Owners of the country on which they work and deliver conservation services that successfully combine methods drawn from both traditional knowledge and western science.
Indigenous Land and Sea rangers are skilled in conservation work and draw upon their experience in managing country, inter-generational knowledge sharing and formal Conservation and Land Management or related qualifications in managing country.
Rangers share their knowledge, skills and experience at annual Indigenous Land and Sea ranger workshops (PDF, 10.4MB), at which ranger teams from across the state gather, hear stories of success, meet with partners, and undertake local field trips to broaden their understanding of conservation approaches.
DES works with ranger groups to diversify their income and attract other investors. DES invites other investors to partner in supporting this highly successful program and a partnership prospectus is available, highlighting the opportunities to sponsor Indigenous ranger groups.
Highlights from a documentary recently produced with Network TEN provide insight to the important work carried out by Indigenous Land and Sea ranger groups.
The success of Indigenous ranger programs in delivering outcomes for Indigenous communities in conservation, social and economic terms has been confirmed through evaluation and other studies. These include a 2015 evaluation of the program which found that it is delivering on its conservation, Indigenous participation and economic objectives.