Bunuba National Park marks halfway point for Plan for Our Parks
A new national park has been declared on Bunuba Country in the Kimberley, marking the halfway milestone in the delivery of the WA Government’s Plan for Our Parks initiative, with 2.5 million hectares added to the conservation estate to date.
The Bunuba National Park covers 220,000 hectares and will protect parts of the National Heritage listed Martuwarra Fitzroy River, extending from the existing Danggu Geikie Gorge National Park along the river flowing north to Jijidu (Dimond Gorge).
The national park was celebrated at a private ceremony at Windjana Gorge on Friday with Bunuba Traditional Owners and Environment Minister Reece Whitby.
Bunuba Elder Patsy Bedford said it was a proud day for Bunuba people.
“I think this is a way moving forward with us, as long as it’s in partnership with government and we sit on the same table, and make decisions together for the betterment of our Country. We as Traditional Owners of our Country, we need to look after it and the Country will look after us, so it’s a great opportunity for the future of our young Bunuba nation. Hopefully we will see there’s more employment for our young people and more of our cultural knowledge put into these areas that they go forward with,"
“When national parks were first set up, we had no say in national parks and now, this is the most rewarding day that we say, ok, we are going be in joint-management with the government on our own lands.”
The new national park was co-designed by Bunuba Traditional Owners and will be joint-managed by Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation and the WA Government - safeguarding unique landscapes, wildlife and Aboriginal culture, while creating sustainable local jobs, like Aboriginal ranger positions and Indigenous tourism.
Plan for Our Parks is one of the largest expansions of national parks in Australia’s history and is protecting many important species and landscapes, but there is still more to do.
It's crucial we keep reminding government how important it is to protect our unique wildlife through protected areas, like national parks!
Lisa, from the Partnership of the Outback team was fortunate to camp on Country at Windjana Gorge with Bunuba people for this milestone celebration, and listened as Elders spoke about their hopes for Country, culture and young people with the creation of this new park.
A huge congratulations to Bunuba Traditional Owners, Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation and the WA Government for this historic announcement!
For people and nature!