Nature

A triumph as land returned to locals who’ve lived there for generations

Aboriginal tribes in Oz reconnect with their past

While owning a home or land is a material possession, nothing can compete with the sentimental value that it holds when passed down through generations.

Often landscape is all that people have of their ancestors, who existed in a time long before technology when their memories could not be captured in photographs.

This is why news of an iconic rainforest being returned to its aboriginal owners is so remarkable, as the traditional people have been reunited with their forefathers’ land.

[Credit: Shutterstock]

The spectacular Daintree National Park, bordering the Great Barrier Reef, was transferred from Australian officials to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people, one of the world’s oldest living cultures.

Oz’s environment minister Meaghan Scanlon said she was elated to witness the rainforest – boasting white sandy beaches, rivers and waterfalls – be given back to the rightful owner.

Scanlon said: “This agreement recognises their right to own and manage their country, to protect culture, and share it with visitors as they become leaders in the tourism industry.

“It marks the government returning more than 3.8million hectares of land to traditional owners, with 2.3m hectares to be jointly-managed by rangers and the community.”

[Credit: David Clode]

She added: “It means there are now 32 aboriginal-owned and jointly-managed national parks on the Cape York Peninsula.”

While it may sound like a no-brainer to allow those who have poured their blood, sweat and tears into the land for centuries to have ownership, negotiations have lasted four years.

The hope is that the aboriginal tribes will not only protect their land but also provide mentoring and employment for the hospitality industry to mark them as a hotspot on the map.

As fans of Down Under (after all, that’s where the idea for InspoDaily was hatched) we might have to help their tourism thrive and pay the rainforest a visit.

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