Dambimangari people are working to ensure the continuing health of their country and sustainable use of their resources. They are working with a range of State and Federal Government authorities and western scientists to protect the region's unspoiled environment - former home to their ancestors and a continuing source of resources for food, art and living. Some of the key programs are listed below
Healthy Country Project
The Dambimangari Healthy Country Plan supports an Indigenous Protection Area covering much of the Dambimangari Native Title land and adjoining conservation reserves. The plan is an overarching strategy for the management and development initiatives which are designed to deliver an environmentally and economically sustainable future for the region and its people. Some of the key elements include:
- Respect for culture and heritage
- Sound environmental management of resource and tourism development
- Protection of reefs, beaches and islands
- Conservation of saltwater fish and other sea life
- Landscape protection
- Fauna and habitat conservation
- Bush fruit and medicine management
- Fire protection.
Dambimangari Ranger Program
A team of more than 12 rangers are working on the conservation program to manage the Dambimangari Indigenous Protected Area (part of the National Reserve System) and the neighbouring lands and waters. The rangers' expertise is based on a combination of traditional knowledge and western science with training provided by a number of government and non-government organisations and research institutions. The work includes
- Marine turtle monitoring and management
- Fire prevention and right-time burning
- Sea patrols
- Construction of shelters
- Fauna trapping and recording
- Wildlife surveys and observations
- Plant quarantine
- Training and skills development
- Search and rescue
- Habitat clean-up
One of the Rangers’ current priorities is the protection of native quolls from spreading cane toads in the Kimberley Region. The team is surveying Chambers Island in the Buccaneer Archipelago as a potential refuge and breeding ground for quolls (which are important to Dambimangari culture) and other species like the gold backed tree rat.
Dambimangari Ranges will be managing the project as part of a conservation program for the Exclusive Native Title area.
Environmental and cultural tourism
The Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation has developed plans for a visitors' guide to support the broad environmental management and education program. The authority and management arrangements are based on exclusive possession native title rights. Visitor management is about ensuring 'right way' visitation where visitors obtain permission to visit country and respect the conditions of Traditional Owners. Another purpose of introducing the pass is to ensure that visitors are well informed about the cultural and natural landscape providing for a safe enjoyable experience. The protocols, including a code of conduct, will help ensure that the Kimberley tourism industry is sustainable (economically, environmentally and culturally) and provide certainty to visitors about places they do, and do not, have permission to access.
Marine and National Parks management with Department of Parks and Wildlife
Aboriginal knowledge will play a major role in the management of some of the most important parks in the Kimberley region. Traditional owners and Rangers will have key responsibilities in protecting the pristine marine and hinterland environments in the Dambimangari Native Title area. The Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation and the WA Government are negotiating appropriate protocols for conservation of spectacular landscapes and habitat for unique flora, fauna and marine life.