The University of Arizona

Community-Oriented Protected Areas for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

Marcia Langton, Zane Ma Rhea, Lisa Palmer


Across the globe, community-oriented protected areas are increasingly recognised as an effective way to support the preservation and maintenance of the traditional biodiversity related knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities. We argue that guaranteed land security and the ability of indigenous and local peoples to exercise their own governance structures is central to the success of community-oriented protected area programs. In particular, we examine the conservation and community development outcomes of the Indigenous Protected Area program in Australia, which is based on the premise that indigenous landowners exercise effective control over environmental governance, including management plans, within their jurisdiction (whether customary or state-based or a combination of elements of both), and have effective control of access to their lands, waters and resources. 

Key Words: community-oriented protected areas, Indigenous rights, conservation, Australia

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