The Wet Tropics region is one of the most unique and diverse places on earth. There are many things about it that people value, however, there are also many things that people are concerned about.
For the purposes of developing the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country, it was necessary to not only look at the big picture but also shine the spotlight on the top priorities that people care about the most.
Extensive discussions with individuals and groups in the early stages of the plan review highlighted a number of key resounding themes which were common at both the local and regional scales. These have become the Regional Themes for the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country and in combination with the Local Landscapes, they provide frameworks from which the information and content of the plan can be considered.
Throughout this plan, there is a pattern of reference to these regional themes, including the provision of information, references, useful links, priority actions and mapping resources.
It is important to note that there is no easy or ideal way to ‘cut the pie’ of regional NRM. These themes are not distinct and there are many areas of overlap. Many of our priority actions deliver on multiple themes. However, for the purposes of this plan they will provide a focus for our effort, as well as the basis of monitoring our progress.
These are the 2 overarching themes of the plan that are used across all elements, both local and regional.
Cultural Connections recognises the past, present and ongoing relationship that the Traditional Owners of the Wet Tropics have with the landscape and the rights of Traditional Owners to be fully involved in, and benefit from natural resource management in this region.
Climate Futures recognises that there is scientific consensus about climate change and it is critical to understand the implications of this when planning how we manage our landscape.
The Wet Tropics Big 5
The Wet Tropics Big 5 are the regional themes that form the basis of NRM in the Wet Tropics. The Regional Themes are integral to the Plan Logic with a regional landscape goal defined for each one.
Biodiversity relates to the incredible spectrum of plants and animals in the region, both on the land and in the water.
Biosecurity relates to the significant impact that current and potential future invasive species have on our region’s ecosystems and productivity.
Water relates to the rivers and streams flowing through the region and beyond to the Great Barrier Reef.
Sustainable Industries relates to the sectors that drive the economy of the region and underpin our livelihoods and lifestyles.
Coastal Systems relates to the unique values and interconnectedness of our coastal zone and the wide range of interactions including natural and human, that influence how well it functions.
Across all of the Wet Tropics Big 5 themes, a suite of enabling outcomes were repeatedly identified as critical to the long-term protection of our Wet Tropics landscape.
The remarkable commonality in the messages from the Wet Tropics Big 5 workshops led to the identification of 5 cross-cutting strategic outcomes for this plan.
They relate to:
- Planning and policy
- Collaborative, adaptive planning and on-ground action
- Traditional Owner benefits
- Sustained resourcing and
- Community values