Indigenous Protected Areas Programme (Australia)


The Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) Programme is part of Australia’s National Reserve System Programme that aims to establish a network of protected areas which includes a representative sample of all types of ecosystems across the country.

Extended Definition

The National Reserve System Programme is itself a part of the Federal Government’s Natural Heritage Trust.

With support from the IPA programme, Indigenous landowners commit themselves to manage their lands for the protection of natural and cultural features in accordance with internationally recognised standards and guidelines. As at 31 January 2005, 16 Indigenous Protected Areas were declared over Aboriginal Land covering more than 14 million hectares. The IPA programme funds management plans and practical work to protect natural and cultural features and to contribute to conserving biological diversity. The Programme is operated through the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage agreed to an evaluation of the programme in 2006. Submissions were called for by 31 March 2006.