Rio Tinto invests $8m for Pilbara land management

Rio Tinto will invest $8m enhance conservation land management in the Karijini and Millstream Chichester national parks.
Rio Tinto will invest $8m enhance conservation land management in the Karijini and Millstream Chichester national parks.

Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) will invest $8m over five years to enhance conservation land management and support Traditional Owner ranger programs in the Karijini and Millstream Chichester national parks.

In partnership with WA’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), the Pilbara Conservation Project will protect areas of high conservation value and integrate Traditional Owner’s knowledge of the land into conservation land management.

This includes weed management, feral animal control and bushfire management at Karijini, Millstream Chichester and other high conservation value Pilbara sites, through implementation of the Pilbara Conservation Strategy.

The project will also support ranger training and fee for service work for Aboriginal Ranger Groups.

Rio Tinto vice president health, safety, environment and communities Cecile Thaxter commented on the partnership.

“This project will enable DBCA and Traditional Owners to continue caring for Country and importantly put Traditional Owner knowledge at the heart of conservation management for this environmentally, culturally and economically significant region,” she said.

“Maintaining Pilbara biodiversity is critical not only for our business today but also for future generations within the region, and we recognise our responsibility to understand and effectively mitigate our impacts on nature through collaborative partnerships.

“Partnerships like the Pilbara Conservation Project are crucial to delivering nature-positive outcomes, with collaboration, resource sharing, innovation, local engagement and collective effort needed to address the complex challenges with environmental conservation and restoration.”

Rio, DBCA and Traditional Owners have been in partnership since 2015 to protect the Karijini and Millstream Chichester national parks.

The Pilbara Conservation Project adds to a range of partnerships Rio has with Traditional Owners to support Aboriginal Ranger Programs in the Pilbara, including the Pilbara Ranger Network and partnerships with Aboriginal Corporations to deliver various ranger programs.

WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby says biodiversity must be managed through practical actions.

Conservation is a shared responsibility, and this new partnership demonstrates how Government, industry and Traditional Owners can work together to manage biodiversity values through practical on-ground actions,” he said.

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