Saltwater People’s Network
The Saltwater People’s Network is comprised of all the saltwater country native title claim groups from Balanggarra in the east, to Bardi Jawi in the west and Karajarri in the south.
Funding for this network has been extended for another two years in conjunction with NAILSMA and Caring for our Country (Commonwealth Government) until the end of 2012.
The Saltwater People’s Network works to increase the capacity of rangers to collect and manage data through the use of the I-Tracker, a high-tech portable device that can be used in remote locations.
Rangers use the information gathered to help them make informed decisions about how to look after country. All ranger groups, participating in the Kimberley Ranger Forum 2011, received I-Tracker training to improve their land and sea management skills. The project puts additional focus on networking and communications in order to create a strong and resilient network of Indigenous Land and Sea Managers across northern Australia.
The Saltwater People’s network also focuses on the strengths of the award-winning Dugong and Marine Turtle Project, which has secured further funding from the Commonwealth Government.
The Bardi Jawi Ranger group continues to build on previous work undertaken in the Dugong and Marine Turtle Project, which has expanded to include the Uunguu, Nyul Nyul and Karajarri ranger groups, and will focus on the use of Cyber/I-Tracker technology to support participating ranger groups.
The roll out of more I-Tracker units across the Kimberley to include more ranger groups should see information collected across a much larger monitoring area.
The information collected with this technology will support ranger groups and provide them with greater capacity to monitor and manage country using western science reporting methods and data.
Saltwater Country Plan
The Saltwater Country Plan is the vision of elders from four tribal groups: Mayala, Dambimangari, Uunguu and Balanggarra native title claim groups – and looks at ways to achieve greater protection and better management of the North Kimberley coastline.
At a Saltwater Country meeting in October 2008, the steering committee identified three management goals for the future:
• Setting-up Sea Rangers to conduct coastal management activities;
• Developing a Visitor-Pass model for tourists; and
• Implementing Indigenous Protected Areas
The project is coordinated by the Kimberley Land Council and various partners.
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