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Funding boost for Indigenous-managed land and sea areas

Alex Mitchell -

Traditional Owner groups responsible for managing their sea and land areas are set for a big funding boost.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibsersek has pledged $160.5 million towards the 84 Indigenous Protected Areas operating in Australia.

IPAs are developed under voluntary agreements between the federal government and Indigenous people to allow them to manage and protect areas of land and sea for biodiversity conservation.

Bearing in mind IPAs cover more than half Australia's national estate, Ms Plibersek said they were "doing the heavy lifting".

"The first IPA began with a simple idea - if we listened to First Nations people … valued First Nations expertise … empowered First Nations communities on the ground, we could protect Australia's environment, while also supporting local jobs and economic development," she told an event at Parliament House on Wednesday.

"That has proven to be the case, beyond all doubt."

Environment Minister Tanya Plibsersek has pledged $160 million to 84 Indigenous Protected Areas.

Monitoring threatened species, cleaning marine debris, dating rock art, culling feral animals and weeds and training Indigenous rangers are all tasks the money will be backing.

The government has committed to establishing 10 new IPAs and doubling the number of Indigenous rangers by 2030.

Ms Plibersek said Australia was lucky to have the "world's most successful environmentalists" to learn from.

"IPAs produce better outcomes … stronger protection for native plants and animals, more employment for local people, greater economic opportunities for remote towns, and a more resilient connection to culture and history," she said.

"This money will mean you can keep doing what you do best … conserving our land, while maintaining that connection to country."

Alex Mitchell - AAP


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