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ACF’s Cape York officer appointed to Wet Tropics board

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Cape York Program Officer, Leah Talbot, has been appointed to the board of the Wet Tropics Management Authority. 

Leah is a Kuku Yalanji woman from the Bloomfield River area. She has a Masters in Environmental Science and has worked for ACF since 2003.

Ms Talbot has been central to ACF’s work on Cape York Peninsula, being part of the land tenure resolution process, which has seen thousands of hectares on the Cape returned to Traditional Owners to be protected as jointly managed conservation areas and as Aboriginal lands for future economic development opportunities.
She works specifically towards developing a ‘culture and conservation economy’ – economic opportunities that are culturally appropriate and do not undermine or damage the environment – on Cape York Peninsula.
Ms Talbot said she was keen to play a part in working with the Indigenous communities within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and to help identify new opportunities to build sustainable futures for their communities.
There are great opportunities to incorporate Indigenous land management techniques and knowledge with modern methods of tourism and conservation and at the same time help build better livelihoods for Indigenous Australians
Ms Talbot said the Wet Tropics’ natural values were recognised on the National Heritage list and the World Heritage listing, but its cultural values were not.
“ACF urges the Federal Government to nominate the Wet Tropics’ outstanding living cultural values for inclusion on the National Heritage list before 30 June, so its cultural values could also be nominated for World Heritage listing.”
Leah was nominated for appointment to the board by the Wet Tropics Ministerial Council after wide consultation within the Rainforest Aboriginal community.