is home to a plethora of unique species and some of the world's oldest human artwork, this area is ecologically, socially and culturally vital for Australia.
Fish River Northern Territories, Australia is home to a plethora of unique species and some of the world's oldest human artwork, this area is ecologically, socially and culturally vital for Australia. © Ted Wood

Australia is home to some of the world’s greatest natural resources, as well as the oldest continuous human culture. For at least 65,000 years, indigenous people have inhabited this great continent, their traditions inextricably linked to caring for the lands and waters that have provided for all of their needs. However, European settlement beginning in the 18th century disrupted many traditional management practices as indigenous communities were removed from their lands. In recent decades, climate change, invasive species, poor land management and growing development pressures have escalated the need for urgent, smart, conservation action.

Now, Indigenous Australians are returning to their lands to revive age-old traditional land management. TNC is supporting this movement by helping long-term, sustainable, land management and the well-being of people who depend on their in the Northern Australian savannas and remote outback arid lands (e.g., the Ten Deserts Alliance). In Northern Australia, TNC is helping indigenous communities revitalize traditional fire management, sequester carbon and strengthen local economies.

And in the most valuable, private conservation-focused land acquisition in Australia’s history, TNC, in a joint venture with Tiverton Agriculture, is protecting the Great Cumbung, one of the largest and most important wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin in southeastern Australia. These wetlands will be managed in conjunction with the 87,000-hectare Gayini Nimmie-Caira property, which was purchased for conservation by the New South Wales government in 2012 and is now managed by TNC and the Nari Nari Tribal Council.