Wet Tropics Regional Agreement

In 2017, a Rainforest Aboriginal People resolution was adopted at a regional forum to refresh the regional agreement. A traditional Owner Leadership Group (TOLG) has been established to lead this process, with support from the North Queensland Land Council, the Authority and the NRM Territory. The TOLG includes the Aboriginal directors of these organizations and the Authority`s Aboriginal advisory members. The Queensland Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection and Management Act 1993 (Wet Tropics Act) and the Commonwealth Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Conservation Act 1994 jointly enshrine the administrative and operational aspects of the agreement and facilitate the implementation of Australia`s obligations under the World Heritage Convention. These laws require the Authority to prepare an annual report on the state of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area for the Queensland or Commonwealth parliaments. In 2019/20, LA TOLG plans to travel through the Wet Tropics to meet with rainforest Aboriginal People and clarify specific regional projects and investments needed to support and strengthen its current participation in the management of the World Heritage Area. The TOLG will also assess the interest of Rainforest Aboriginal Peoples representative organizations in opting for the implementation agreement after the negotiation phase. The objective of the draft implementation agreement is to strengthen and strengthen the important role played by Rainforest Aboriginal People in wetland management. At numerous meetings and workshops held since 2017, TOLG has developed a draft early implementation agreement to update the regional agreement with partners. In regional forums, TOLG continued to register with Rainforest Aboriginal People to test its ideas and seek additional direction for this important work. A parallel negotiation process with Commonwealth and state agencies has also begun. The strategic plan also focuses on integrating rainforest Aboriginal Peoples` rights, interests and aspirations into the management of WTWHA. The strategy includes measures to implement a rights-based approach, update the regional agreement and support traditional owner-ownership initiatives in the management of cultural and natural resources.

In 1990, the Australian authorities and the Queensland government agreed to jointly fund and coordinate the management of the Wet Tropics and signed an agreement that was put in place by the Wet Tropics Management Scheme. The agreement outlines the general structure and financing arrangements for the management system, including the creation of the Wet Tropics Management Authority. The management system also establishes a scientific advisory committee to advise the Authority and a community advisory committee to report to the Authority on land management issues from the perspective of representative stakeholders and the Community as a whole. The fundamental principles of the agreement are to recognize the rights and interests of Aboriginal people in Rainforest Aborigines and to enable them to define and negotiate their own priorities, needs and aspirations for wet drop management. A collaborative and equitable approach between the world`s heritage agencies and the rainforest aborigines is essential to implementing these principles.