Anindilyakwa Indigenous Protected Area
Groote Eylandt Archipelago, Gulf of Carpentaria | Declared in June 2006
Anindilyakwa Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was declared in June 2006. Spreading across the Groote Eylandt Archipelago in the Gulf of Carpentaria, it covers around 300,000 hectares of land surrounded by another 700,000 hectares of sea country. The Anindilyakwa IPA strikes a balance between protecting the land for conservation purposes and allowing for sustainable economic development and traditional resource use.
Since IPA declaration, the Anindilyakwa community has focused on protecting and valuing traditional ecological knowledge, as well as protecting cultural and visitor sites and marine estates. It has built resource management partnerships and capacity in its ranger workforce, and is working hard to maintain the high biodiversity and pest free status of the country.
The archipelago's land and sea country is owned and managed by the Anindilyakwa clans. This ownership was not recognised until the last quarter of the twentieth century, and Groote Eylandt was part of the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Reserve for much of the last hundred years.
Photos: (Top left) Native Fruits, Bruce Rose (Top right) Shell, Steve Strike (Bottom) Beach Clean Up, WWF Australia.
In 1976 the Commonwealth passed the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 and unalienable freehold title in the archipelago lands was delivered to the Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Land Trust. The Anindilyakwa Land Council was established under the same Act in 1991, and are administrators of Anindilyakwa IPA.
Along with Dhimurru IPA in north-east Arnhem Land, Anindilyakwa forms an important part of the Arnhem Coast Bioregion.
Anindilyakwa IPA is managed under World Conservation Union Category VI - Protected Area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems.