Our Plan for Daintree

The Daintree Local Landscape is renowned for its spectacular natural assets and these astounding attributes warrant world class management.

Although over half of the local landscape is protected in the World Heritage Area, working with our community will be vital to ensure a whole-of-landscape approach to managing our natural assets.

There are also many other factors which make life in the Daintree unique. With community cohesion and collective action, we can make sure all these values are recognised and managed appropriately to protect what is special to our community, for now and generations to follow.

Our three top priorities

1. Community Values

We will work to ensure there is strong community cohesion, and effective collective action to protect and enhance the natural assets of the Daintree.

There are many dedicated and passionate people in our landscape; identifying and engaging these people will result in a network of residents who are best placed to look after the area. Within our landscape, there is also a highly transient population and a large number of absentee landholders.

Effective communication and education is essential to ensure decision making and planning uses the best available information. With a strategic plan, co-ordinated approach and community support, we know our understanding of our natural environment can increase across the community and can translate into effective on-ground action to manage and protect our landscape’s values.

“There is an abundance of local knowledge and regard for the natural environment. We need to identify and engage these people.”

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Form a Daintree Community Taskforce to steer a planning process based on a common community vision.
• Develop a community-based environmental action group to manage natural assets and coordinate with other agencies.
• Develop a plan to empower Traditional Owners to live independently on country.

2. Sustainable Industries

Our region’s industries will be sustainable, diverse and resilient, supporting our communities and natural environments.

The Daintree region is iconic and recognised globally as a wilderness area, however the economics of the area are vulnerable. A vibrant economy is vital to ensuring sustainable communities, conservation outcomes and good land management.

While issues like no grid power or road access can be polarising, they can also be part of what attracts visitors and residents to the area – the Daintree has a reputation of being a totally protected environment and this can be used to showcase the area and attract tourists.

Sustainable tourism, incorporating education of visitors, providing a unique visitor experience, having a commitment to protect the area and adding infrastructure that enables access, can contribute to the long term sustainability of our area.

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Develop a strong ‘brand’ and marketing campaign to compete in the visitor market on the “sustainability ticket” – ‘real’ eco-tourism, true sustainable living.
• Expand the range of tourist activities to attract more visitors for longer periods.

3. Biosecurity

We will minimise the threat of pests and weeds on our natural and agricultural landscapes through effective planning and action.

In this landscape, system recovery is rapid given the right conditions. Removal of competition from non-native weed species is the critical element, significantly enhancing natural regeneration.

The management of feral vertebrates, including pigs and domestic dogs and cats, is also important for protecting native animal populations through enhanced breeding opportunities and minimised predation.

The impact of climate change will increase the pressures on our natural systems; management of exotic species will enhance their resilience and ability to adapt and recover.

“As weeds and pests represent the greatest threat to local systems over the next 5 years there is a very real requirement for a co-ordinated and targeted approach to control.”

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Conduct targeted weed control in priority disturbed locations as a way of cost-effectively enhancing habitat extent and condition.
• Resource the local community with equipment and inputs to tackle weeds and enhance our natural environments.

Other priorities:

Our landscape is renowned for its natural values, so in addition to the above priorities, we would also like to see improved habitat connectivity, condition and extent. Development of conservation agreements for special areas (eg. Blue Hole) is also really important.

Click here for more detail on the priority actions identified by the community for our Local Landscape.