Close-up shot of edible acacia seeds held by a Walmajarri custodian from Western Australia. / ©: Tanya Vernes

Indigenous partnerships

WWF-Australia respects and recognises the relationship that Australia’s Indigenous peoples have with their lands and seas, and is committed to their right to be involved in decision-making regarding those areas.

WWF works closely with Indigenous communities to protect our native plants and animals and their habitats so as to deliver enduring conservation outcomes.

We collaborate with Traditional Owners across Australia but particularly in Queensland, because of the Great Barrier Reef, and in Western Australia, which is home to the Kimberley and diverse Southwest.



Indigenous involvement in conservation


Indigenous peoples inhabit nearly 20 per cent of the planet, mainly in areas where they have lived for thousands of years and remain important stewards.

About 17% of Australia’s landmass has either been returned to, is managed by or being co-managed by Traditional Owners, mostly across northern Australia.

The close ties that Indigenous peoples maintain with their traditional lands, waters and resources are particularly relevant for conservation organisations like WWF. We recognise their important role as stewards of high-biodiversity areas.

WWF advocates for more Indigenous rangers to oversee our land and seas. This creates real jobs for Traditional Owners who want to look after their country and helps to ensure long-term biodiversity protection.


WWF-Australia respects and recognises the relationship that Australia’s Indigenous peoples have with their lands and seas. More importantly, WWF is committed to their right to be involved in all aspects of any decisions that may impact on their traditional lands and seas.

Paruku wetlands at sunset, Tanami desert.
In the top of the Tanami desert, WWF has been working ... / ©: Tanya Vernes / WWF-Aus
© Tanya Vernes / WWF-Aus
Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs)
An Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is an area of Indigenous-owned land or sea where Traditional Owners have entered into an agreement with the Australian Government to promote biodiversity and cultural resource conservation.
 / ©: Ellen Ariel / JCU / WWF-Aus
© Ellen Ariel / JCU / WWF-Aus
Conservation on country (in north-eastern Australia)
WWF is determined to assist Indigenous peoples and their organisations and communities to design, implement, monitor and evaluate conservation activities.
Spinifex grasslands at sunset with sandstone ridges in the background, Central Kimberley. / ©: Tanya Vernes / WWF-Aus
© Tanya Vernes / WWF-Aus
Working with Indigenous communities in the Kimberley
WWF is committed to sustaining the unique biodiversity of the spectacular Kimberley region through partnerships with local people.