The Indigenous land and sea management sector

Photo: Spinifex, mulga and red sand in north-west South Australia, managed by its Traditional Owners through Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Management. Photographer: Jennifer McDonald

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been actively managing their country for tens of thousands of years with an aim to increase resource availability and maintain cultural responsibilities.

Over the last four decades, Indigenous people across Australia have developed modern management practices using a combination of Traditional and Western knowledge to protect the environmental and cultural significance of their land and seas.

The Indigenous land and sea management sector has developed over this time and is now both a complex and significant part of Australia’s environmental management and protection efforts. Currently well over one-hundred Indigenous ranger groups work on-ground, supported by a network of organisations including Indigenous organisations, all levels of Government, non-government, private and research institutions.

The multifaceted benefits of this work on-country are well documented, and include positive environmental, cultural, social and economic outcomes. However, most Australians are unaware of this important work and its flow-on benefits to people, communities and the environment. Moreover, those who are aware and interested in learning more can find the complexity of organisation types, how they work and relate to each other confusing, and this can act as an inhibitor to further engagement.

This report aims to give a generalised overview of the Indigenous land and sea management sector, to support those who are interested in learning more about this valuable work.

Learn more about Indigenous land and sea management