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re:<About the Project>


| History | Objective | Functions | Management | Reference network | Tasks | Coordinator | Funding |



The Native Title and Protected Areas Project ("the Project") has been running since June 1999. The Project was established initially by nine Queensland ENGOs, has extended currently to sixteen and has several other groups contributing advice. It was originally administered by a project committee of three groups and is now administered by the Queensland Conservation Council. The Project has run parallel to the consultations engaged in by the State with the Queensland Indigenous Working Group ("QIWG") relating to indigenous title to and management of national parks and protected areas in Queensland.

At the outset, effort went into researching the scope of the issues surrounding indigenous rights, environment protection and issues and models of indigenous-State management of protected areas. A substantial background document was produced and provided to all participating ENGOs and to the QIWG. In July 1999, the project conducted initial regional consultations towards a policy position. In August 1999 a submission of an ENGO Provisional Position was made to Native Title Services ("NTS") and to QIWG. This formed the basis of further discussion and policy development.

In February 2000 a second round of Queensland region visits was undertaken for the Project to engage as far as possible indigenous interests, NTRBs and regional and local ENGOs. The Project is currently producing a submission to NTS and to QIWG presenting a consolidated ENGO position and draft policy and outstanding areas for discussion and development.

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Project objective

The main objective of the project is to assist Queensland’s Non-Government Environment Groups ("ENGOs") to achieve:

  • Understanding of and agreement about future tenure and management arrangements for protected areas,

  • a high degree of policy and political consensus, and

  • focus and capacity to participate in the development of a new regime for indigenous-State management of protected areas

It is a project established to provide several outcomes:

  • Integration of, and a policy position from, ENGOs around native title and protected areas issues, leading to;

  • Understandings, agreements and processes for dialogue between indigenous peoples and their representative organisations, and ENGOs, leading to;

  • A contribution to policy development on, and legislative and administrative change to, protected area tenure and management, arising from and giving effect to native title and other indigenous rights in protected areas.

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Five main functions

  • To further develop the Environment Non-Government Organisations’ (ENGO) policy on native title and other indigenous rights and protected areas; the protocol agreements for dealing with this policy; and the organisational capacity and coordination for advancing the policy

  • To further develop the dialogue and cooperation between Environment Non-Government Organisations’ (ENGO) and Queensland Indigenous Working Group, Native Title Representative Bodies and Traditional Owner Groups, as appropriate

  • To further develop the communications strategy with the aim of facilitating public and media understanding and acceptance of changes to protected area tenure and management arising from native title and other indigenous rights

  • To further develop the relationship to the Government of the Environment Non-Government Organisations’ (ENGO) to act as a positive influence on resolving matters of protected area tenure and management arising from native title and other indigenous rights

  • To further develop the community education role of the project

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Project management

  • The project is managed by the Queensland Conservation Coucnil on behalf of particpating groups. A steering committee with a representative from each of the Queensland Conservation Council, the Wilderness Society and the Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland has operated from time to time.

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Reference network

  • It is part of the project to develop a reference network for the project comprised of suitable representation from indigenous, environment and other groups. The reference network will provide a cooperative focus for policy and development

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Main tasks

  • Ongoing ENGO policy development, including the Queensland State Conference, a Queensland Conservation Council formal policy decision, the Queensland Regional Conservation Organisation forums, individual group liaison and issues and policy support, and network building

  • A series of policy- and agreement-forming ‘round-tables’, joint committees, and workshops between ENGOs and NTRBs

  • A public awareness raising and media management strategy, including Web site development, PR tools, publications, speeches, joint ENGO / NTRB media conferences etc

  • A series of meetings with relevant Ministers, departments and agencies, especially QPWS to advance the development of a cooperative management framework and partnership agreements to recognise and give effect to indigenous rights in protected areas

  • A conference and a series of regional forums on indigenous rights and environment protection, one-off seminars and workshops for community interest groups etc, an ongoing research program

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Project coordinator

Anthony Esposito is the current Coordinator of the Native Title and Protected Areas Project. His background is in environment protection campaigns and cooperative community development, being the Queensland Convenor of the Wilderness Society and immediate past Secretary of the Cooperative Community Council. He was one of the principal organisers in setting up the Land Justice Alliance Queensland, a temporary indigenous-environment-social justice alliance established in 1997.

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The project has received funding to date from Premier's Native Title Services (NTS), the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy (DATSIP) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) / Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It has received in-kind and administrative support from a number of ENGOs.

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Native title and protected areas project
E-mail: The project coordinator
Mail: QCC, PO Box 12046,
George Street Post Shop, Brisbane, 4003
Ph: 07 3221 0188 Fax: 07 3229 7992