Australia’s Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world, officially returned to the indigenous peoples on Wednesday. She said the handover was part of a process of reconciliation between communities.
Daintree National Park, a 135 million-year-old UNESCO World Heritage-listed forest, has been returned to the Aboriginal Kuku Yalangi tribe in a ceremony in the remote town of Bloomfield in northeastern Queensland.
The vast rainforest is home to rare and ancient plant and animal species, including the helmeted cassowary, whose claws are extremely dangerous.
Chrissy Grant, a member of the committee that negotiated the transfer, called it a “historic moment” aimed at enabling the community to “take control of its own destiny.”
A total of 160,000 acres of Daintree National Park on the Cape York Peninsula at the northeastern tip of Australia have been returned to the area’s indigenous people.
Initially, the national parks would be jointly managed by the Queensland government before becoming the sole responsibility of the Aboriginal community.
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