Australian Indigenous Rangers are to tour Canada as part of a new global initiative to share traditional knowledge and ideas for best practice on land and sea management.
Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke said three rangers from the Kimberley Land Council in Western Australia and the Central Land Council in the Northern Territory would take part in the 10-day exchange.
Mr Burke said the rangers would spend time with the Canadian First Nation peoples as part of the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Land and Sea Managers Network.
International exchange arranged
He said Australia’s Indigenous Rangers’ Network had grown from about 100 to 680 Rangers since 2008 and was on track to reach a target of 730 by June 2015.
He said the global network recognised Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge to protect and nourish the land and sea, contributing to the social and environmental health of their own nations and the world.
Mr Burke said Australia had led the initiative and recruited Brazil, Norway and New Zealand to form the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Land and Sea Managers Network at the Rio+20 sustainable development conference in Brazil earlier this year.
“The network will draw on Indigenous peoples and local community groups involved in land and sea management and sustainable development to build on relationships and share best practice between managers globally.”
He said the exchange marked a major step towards establishing the global network as an international forum for Indigenous people involved in land and sea management.
“It is the first of several exchanges in the lead-up to the inaugural international network conference in Darwin in May 2013,” he said.
Mr Burke said the conference would bring Indigenous peoples and local communities together from around the world to shape the network and ensure its long-term viability.