Indigenous Communities

and the Environment

Two sisters

Ngaanyatjarra Lands Indigenous Protected Area

Map showing the location of Ngaanyatjarra Lands Indigenous Protected Area, Western Australia Central Ranges | Declared in August 2002

Things change, but the idea can remain the same. The yakirri we wear is made of wool. It used to be made of possum skin or hair, but now it's made of wool, and white fellas make the wool. But it's still a yakirri, and it still represents the law. These IPAs could be like this - a white fella way [of doing the job we used to do].
Ngaanyatjarra Elder

The Ngaanyatjarra Lands Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was declared in August 2002. It covers a total area of 9.8 million hectares and encompassing the entire West Australian section of the Central Ranges bioregion and parts of the Gibson, Great Victoria and Great Sandy deserts.

The Ngaanyatjarra Lands are increasingly being recognised for their strong cultural and natural values. Ngaanyatjarra people, Yarnangu, have cared for their country for thousands of years, and these social and cultural activities continue unbroken to the present day. The IPA's high levels of biodiversity are a direct result of traditional land management practices. There are about 2,000 Yarnangu living on the Lands in 11 autonomous incorporated communities. Ngaanyatjarra Council represents them all, and coordinates IPA activities across the Lands. IPA funding helps Traditional Owners apply traditional ecological knowledge to land management, and pass this knowledge and associated responsibilities on to future generations. Fire is used to rejuvenate the land, the water supply is protected by maintaining rockholes, bores and windmills, and young people learn about bush foods and their medicinal uses. Training in contemporary ways of managing the land is underway, so the land benefits from the best that both traditions have to offer. IPA funding helps to monitor threatened species, and manage the weeds and feral animals which are taking over their habitats. Warru (black-footed wallaby) numbers are increasing as a result of foxbaiting work by Warburton community members, in cooperation with the South Australian Department of Environment and Conservation.

Ngaanyatjarra Lands IPA is managed under International Union for Conservation of Nature Category VI - Managed Resource Protected Area: Protected Area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems. Several smaller zones within the IPA are managed under Category III - Natural Monument: Protected Area managed for the conservation of specific natural features and Category IV - Habitat/ Species Management Area: Protected Area managed mainly for conservation through management intervention.

Download the Ngaanyatjarra Lands Indigenous Protected Area - fact sheet (PDF - 719 KB)