Rio Tinto invests $8 million in Pilbara conservation land management

05 June 2024

PERTH, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Rio Tinto will invest A$8 million over five years in a partnership with Western Australia’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) on a new project to enhance conservation land management and support Traditional Owner ranger programs in Karijini and Millstream Chichester National Parks.

The Pilbara Conservation Project will protect areas of high conservation value and integrate Traditional Owners’ 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, DBCA and Traditional Owners have been partnering to protect the Karijini and Millstream Chichester National Parks since 2015.

The new project adds to a range of partnerships Rio Tinto 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.

Rio Tinto Vice President, Health, Safety, Environment & Communities, Cecile Thaxter said, “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.

“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.”

Western Australian Environment Minister Reece Whitby MLA said, “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.

“The Pilbara is a special place – its habitat is home to some species of animals and plants you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

“Karijini National Park is the Pilbara’s key tourist attraction, with over 300,000 visitors annually. This project will do wonders for its conservation into the future.”

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Source: Rio Tinto