In a deal, Aboriginal owners get back world's oldest tropical rainforest

WION Web Team
Canberra Published: Sep 30, 2021, 12:28 AM(IST)

A rainforest (representative image). Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

In a deal, Australia's Daintree, which is the world's oldest tropical rainforest, has been returned to its original Aboriginal owners. This UNESCO World Heritage site is over 180-million-year-old. The national park will now be managed by the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people in association with Queensland's state government. The deal also entails some other national parks of Queensland

In a historic deal, the world's oldest tropical rainforest, Australia's Daintree, has been returned to its Aboriginal owners.  

This UNESCO World Heritage site is over 180-million-year-old. It is also home to several Aboriginal people.  

The national park will now be managed by the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people in association with Queensland's state government.  

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The Daintree, which is one of Australia's top tourism drawcards, is famed for its ancient ecosystem and rugged, natural beauty, which includes wild rivers, forest vistas, gorges, waterfalls and white sandy beaches. It also borders the Great Barrier Reef.  

The deal also entails other national parks of Queensland, such as Cedar Bay (Ngalba Bulal), Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) and Hope Islands. It is a total area of over 160,000 hectares.  

While handing over formal ownership back to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people on Wednesday, the government of Queensland recognised "one of the world's oldest living cultures".  

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Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon in a statement said, "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."   

The deal came after four years of discussions, reported local media.  

Negotiator Chrissy Grant said, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people wished to eventually solely manage the forests and other wet tropics regions.  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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