The Land and Sea Management Strategy for Torres Strait 2016-2036 aims to achieve the following vision: EmpoweringTorres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peoples to sustainably manage and benefit from their land, sea and cultural resources into the future, in accordance with Ailan Kastom, Aboriginal Lore/Law and native title rights and interests.

Building on the original Land and Sea Management Strategy for Torres Strait, developed in 2005, the revised strategy uses western science, management experience and advice from Traditional Owners to describe the region’s natural and cultural values and priorities for future action. It also seeks to recognise and affirm Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peoples’ holistic relationship with their islands and sea country and to empower Traditional Owners to play a lead role in the future sustainable management of the unique environmental and cultural values of our region, in collaboration with other partners.

The revised strategy also seeks to secure ongoing investment for the highly successful Ranger Program and other Indigenous community-based management initiatives. The strategy has pioneered a participatory planning process, whereby Traditional Owners and their representative organisations have jointly determined the values, vision and desired outcomes for the region’s islands and seas into the future, as reflected in the strategy. Through ongoing dialogue and meaningful engagement, we hope to jointly agree on the best pathways and mechanisms to achieve our shared vision for our region and our people, in light of emerging opportunities and challenges. The strategy provides a guiding compass and a navigation chart as we embark on this important journey together with partner organisations and all levels of government.

Key Findings: 

  • The strategy aims to, by or before 2035, to have regional science and research in Very Good condition, including comprehensive future research requirements collaboratively identified and prioritised, with adequate funding to undertake most priority research activities. To have research activities always undertaken in a culturally appropriate manner with results delivered back to the community and fully incorporated into land and sea management.
  • The Strategy recommends that cultural values and protocols are integrated into service planning and management practices to strengthen, support and respect Ailan Kastom (including Ailan People, Places, Practices, Protocols, Partnerships and Promotions) and Aboriginal Lore/Law.
  • Exploration of the potential need for cultural heritage positions to support community-based cultural heritage management efforts.
  • Continue to strengthen community education, awareness and engagement programs to ensure that Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) continues to complement and enhance regional environmental initiatives.
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