Indigenous Protected Area
An Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is a class of protected area used in Australia; each is formed by agreement with Indigenous Australians, and declared by Indigenous Australians. Each is formally recognised by the Australian Government as being part of its National Reserve System, with 75 IPAs comprising more than 44% of the national reserve land, occupying about 67,000,000 hectares (170,000,000 acres) as of April 2020[update].
By agreeing to establish Indigenous Protected Areas, Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders contributed two-thirds of all new additions to Australia's National Reserve System over the decade 1997–2007.
During the 1990s the Australian Government was working in cooperation with State and Territory Governments to build a National Reserve System aimed at protecting, for future generations, a representative sample of Australia's diverse range of flora, fauna and eco-systems.
As part of this effort, Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander owners of lands and seas were asked, and many who were interested in re-establishing effective indigenous land management agreed to participate in this endeavour.
At a national conference of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders held in 1997, it was agreed and resolved by the delegates present that a new class of "Indigenous" protected area should be formed as follows:
"An Indigenous Protected Area is [to be] governed by the continuing responsibilities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to care for and protect lands and waters for present and future generations."
"Indigenous Protected Areas may include areas of land and waters over which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are custodians, and which shall be managed for cultural biodiversity and conservation, permitting customary sustainable resource use and sharing of benefit."
The first trialling of this new environmental partnership aimed at adding the new class of Protected Areas to Australia's National Reserve System, was with the Adnyamathanha people of Nepabunna Aboriginal community, volunteering 580 square kilometres (220 sq mi) of rugged limestone hills, siltstone flats, springs and waterholes between the Flinders Ranges and Gammon Ranges National Parks to be managed as an Indigenous Protected Area. 
The land selected for the first proposed Indigenous Protected area was held by the South Australian Aboriginal Lands Trust (on a 99-year lease, for the Adnyamathanha people), and, by 26 August 1998, an agreement had been reached to see the people of Nepabunna Aboriginal community engaged and some employed in restoring the landscape to its former natural and cultural value, and Australia's first Indigenous Protected Area, the Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area was declared. At the opening ceremony in 1998, Nantawarrina was declared "the first Indigenous Protected Area in South Australia, Australia and internationally" by Gurtrude Johnson, an Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner.
By 2007 the kind of partnership agreed and started with the Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area had grown to include 23 declared Indigenous Protected Areas covering close to 170,000 km2 (66,000 sq mi), or 23 per cent of the National Reserve System.
In July 2012, The Nature Conservancy, alongside IPA alongside the Central Land Council and government representatives from Australia’s National Reserve System, helped announce the launch of the Southern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area. This Indigenous Protected Area is Australia’s largest land reserve, spanning 10,150,000 hectares (25,100,000 acres). It protects important pieces of the Northern Territory’s natural legacy. Included in the Southern Tanami reserve are much of Lake Mackay—Australia’s second-largest lake—and an enormous swathe of the Tanami Desert. This IPA links a variety of habitats that includes deserts and savannas, giving plant and animal species the space they need to manoeuvre around threats like bushfires and climate change.
Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander land and sea owners (including native title holders) may be encouraged, or themselves apply to the Australian Government to establish an Indigenous Protected Area on their lands/seas. However, an Indigenous Protected Area can only come into existence where:
- land and/or seas are owned by Aboriginal Australians or Torres Strait Islanders; and
- significant biodiversity occurs within such Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander owned lands or seas; and
- the Aboriginal Australians or Torres Strait Islanders concerned enter into a formal conservation agreement with the Australian Government to manage some of their lands or seas as an IUCN standard "protected area".
IPA data is available online from several sources.
- Department of Environment IPA Database. AT 3 February 2017, latest data file was 20 September 2016. Data is not well maintained – for example the gazetted area value for several IPAs is zero.
- Department of Environment Collaborative Australian Protected Area Database (CAPAD). CAPAD data is not updated in real time, but is infrequently updated on a two year schedule. At February 2017, the last available update was in 2014. Data values may be incorrect/out of date. For example some values have not been updated/corrected for 10 years.
- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Indigenous Affairs online IPA and Indigenous Ranger map. Data provided is incomplete, inaccurate, and locations for several smaller IPAs are incorrect on the map.
- Protected Planet's World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA)
List of Indigenous Protected Areas
- Booderee National Park and Botanic Gardens, in the Jervis Bay Territory, managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community
New South Wales
The following IPAs have been declared in New South Wales:
- Brewarrina Ngemba Billabong Indigenous Protected Area
- Boorabee and The Willows Indigenous Protected Area
- Gumma Indigenous Protected Area
- Minyumai Indigenous Protected Area
- Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area
- Tarriwa Kurrukun Indigenous Protected Area
- Toogimbie Indigenous Protected Area
- Wattleridge Indigenous Protected Area
- Weilmoringle Indigenous Protected Area
The following IPAs have been declared in the Northern Territory:
- Angas Downs Indigenous Protected Area
- Anindilyakwa Indigenous Protected Area
- Dhimurru Indigenous Protected Area – declared in 2000, it was the first land/sea IPA in Australia
- Djelk Indigenous Protected Area
- Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve ?
- Katiti Petermann Indigenous Protected Area - declared on 1 October 2015, more than 5,000,000 hectares (12,000,000 acres) in Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park.
- Laynhapuy Indigenous Protected Area - 600,000 hectares (1,500,000 acres), created in 2006
- Marri-Jabin | Stage one of the Thamarrurr Indigenous Protected Area
- Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area
- Southern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area
- South-East Arnhem Land Indigenous Protected Area
- Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area
- Yanyuwa Indigenous Protected Area
The following IPAs have been declared in Queensland:
- Eastern Kuku Yalanji Indigenous Protected Area
- Guanaba Indigenous Protected Area
- Kaanju Ngaachi Wenlock and Pascoe Rivers Indigenous Protected Area
- Mandingalbay Yidinji Indigenous Protected Area
- Thuwathu-Bujimulla Indigenous Protected Area
- Warul Kawa Indigenous Protected Area
The following IPAs have been declared in South Australia:
- Antara-Sandy Bore Indigenous Protected Area
- Kalka-Pipalyatjara Indigenous Protected Area
- Mount Willoughby Indigenous Protected Area
- Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area
- Watarru and Walalkara Indigenous Protected Area
- Yalata Indigenous Protected Area
The following IPAs have been declared in Tasmania:
- Preminghana Indigenous Protected Area
- Risdon Cove and Putalina Indigenous Protected Areas
- Mount Chappell and Badger Islands Indigenous Protected Areas
- Deen Maar Indigenous Protected Area
- Framlingham Forest Indigenous Protected Area
- Kurtonitj Indigenous Protected Area
- Lake Condah Indigenous Protected Area
- Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area
- Balanggarra Indigenous Protected Area (Balanggarra people)
- Bardi Jawi Indigenous Protected Area (Bardi Jawi people)
- Birriliburu Indigenous Protected Area – over 66,000 square kilometres (25,000 sq mi)
- Dambimangari Indigenous Protected Area (Dambimangari people)
- Kiwirrkurra Indigenous Protected Area – 43,000 square kilometres (17,000 sq mi), established 2014
- Matuwa and Kurrara Kurrara Indigenous Protected Area
- Ninghan Indigenous Protected Area
- Ngaanyatjarra Indigenous Protected Area
- Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
- Uunguu Indigenous Protected Area (Uunguu people)
- Warlu Jilajaa Jumu Indigenous Protected Area
- Ngururrpa Indigenous Protected Area, in the Great Sandy Desert (3 September 2020, 2,962,988 ha (7,321,700 acres)
- Ngadju Indigenous Protected Area, north of Esperance, in the Western Australian Goldfields (Ngadju people) (11 September 2020, 4,399,300 ha (10,871,000 acres)
2020: New IPAs
- Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin, Northern Territory (Tiwi Land Council)
- Haasts Bluff, south-west Northern Territory (Central Land Council)
- Mamu Wet Tropics, far north Queensland (Mamu Aboriginal Corporation)
- Arafura Swamp, north-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory (Arafura Swamp Rangers Aboriginal Corporation)
- Maralinga Tjarutja Lands, western South Australia (Oak Valley (Maralinga) Aboriginal Corporation)
- Mimal, south-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory (Mimal Land Management).
- Wuthathi Shelburne Bay, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland (Wuthathi Aboriginal Corporation)
- Ngururrpa, south-east Kimberley, Western Australia (Desert Support Services, on behalf of Parna Ngururrpa Aboriginal Corporation)
- Ngadju, north of Esperance, Western Australia (Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation)
- Olkola, central Cape York Peninsula, Queensland (Olkola Aboriginal Corporation)
- Crocodile Islands Maringa, north-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory (Milingimbi & Outstations Progress Resource Association)
- Spinifex Pilki, south-east Western Australia (Pila Nguru Aboriginal Corporation)
- Aboriginal reserve
- Community Conservation Areas
- Indian reservation (US)
- Indian reserve (Canada)
- Minister for Indigenous Australians
- Protected areas of Australia
- Territory of Traditional Natural Resource Use, in Russia
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- [dead link]
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- Langton, Marcia; Ma Rhea, Zane; Palmer, Lisa (2005). "Community-Oriented Protected Areas for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities" (PDF). Journal of Political Ecology. 12 (1): 23–50. doi:10.2458/v12i1.21672.
- "What are IPAs?". Country Needs People.
- Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment page
- National Indigenous Australians Agency page
- "Indigenous land and sea management projects". National Indigenous Australians Agency. 26 October 2015. Interactive map
- Map of IPAs as of February 2020