Uluru is a massive sandstone monolith that lives in the heart of the Northern Territory in Australia. Some say that it is the heart of Australia, as it was there a long time ago and is close to the centre of Australia. Uluru isn't in the centre of Australia and its exact longitude and latitude is 25.3444° S, 131.0369° E. Uluru is sacred to Indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming 550 million years ago. The area around Uluru was settled thousands of years ago, and although it was ‘discovered’ by the white man in the 1800s, Uluru and Aboriginal culture are very much entwined today. In fact, Uluru is sacred to the local Pitjantjatjara tribe that live here. It was said to have come about during the fabled Dreamtime and has a deep and important meaning to the Indigenous Australians, who have respected the rock for many more years than the first white settlers. Although people have been visiting and climbing Uluru for years, the Aboriginals would prefer they didn’t. Aboriginal ancestors walked the path that tourists do today, and many of the caves around the rock hold deep meanings for them and contain ancient rock paintings.
Management and Protection Strategies
The most important thing about Uluru is protecting the relationship it has with the Indigenous Australians. Today, Uluru is earning a great deal of money for Australia's economy but as we earn more money, we are slowly losing one of our most important landforms. This is why we must protect this historical site from erosion, pollution, overpopulation and many more that are ruining its ancient background. Thankfully, there have been many changes and rules applied to the site of Uluru. These are all in place to protect the rock and help the economy at the same time. One major change that has happened was the protection of the area. The Australian government worked together with the traditional owners of the land to allocate Uluru and most of the area around it to become a national park. This meant that the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park had officially had some protection and this included: no hunting animals, needing permission to visit the rock, paying for an entry fee, better protection and much more. Another major change that has been applied to Uluru is that it is now World Heritage Listed, this lets everyone know that Uluru is sacred and older than we think. ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander) peoples have all contributed their knowledge in helping us protect Uluru, in this there have been plans to hopefully one day ban climbing Uluru as it is disrespectful to the Natives and is slowly eroding the rock.
The sign is a message from the Aboriginal owners, asking people to please respect their culture and not to climb.
Evaluation of Effectiveness of Strategies
Since these strategies had been added to Uluru in the hope to protect it, there have been significant changes in the way the site has been treated. All of the rules that have been applied to Uluru have been affective in some way and have helped preserve the rock a little bit more. But the original owners of the land still don't have full responsibility and rights to protect Uluru. Aboriginal people have always maintained a spiritual link between the land and the people who were placed on it. There are still some rules that need to be placed on Uluru before it is too late. One major factor that will potentially ruin Uluru is erosion. For every person who climbs on 'the heart of Australia', it wears the rock down that tiny bit more. One person may only leave a footprint on Uluru, but billions of more people climbing the rock can damage and slowly erode the ancient rock of our land. Even though the Australian Government have done as much as they can to please the Aboriginals and Australia, they still haven't changed the one thing that Uluru depends on if it wants to still be here in the future. The Australian government needs to ban climbing Uluru very soon or it will ruin the rock and seperate the Indigenous Australians from their cultural beliefs surrounding Uluru.
Future of Uluru
I believe that Uluru has a bright future ahead of it, and there is much to look forward to. Since we are now making a change and realising the effects that we are making on Uluru and the Aboriginal culture, we are more reluctant to fix our mistakes before it is too late. the future of this sacred site is up to us as we were the ones sending it in the wrong direction. in the future, if we place rules such as: don't climb Uluru, don't leave behind any rubbish or there will be a fine, don't disrespect the land and more strict observations of the tourists. If these rules are placed on the rock then it will be there for our children to visit and maybe their children. It isn't fair if we don't save Uluru for the future as we are simply getting rid of another amazing site for the future generations to look forward to. it is selfish of us to not do anything to fix the mistakes that past generations have made.
Uluru is a wonderful sacred site that we must protect for as long as we possibly can. But the fact that people are still climbing Uluru is not only dangerous and bad for the rock, but it is also majorly disrespectful to the Indigenous Australians. I believe that the only way to save Uluru is to ban climbing it and the only thing stopping us from doing that is the fear of losing a lot of money for Australias economy. Some say that if we ban climbing Uluru, then no one will want to come and visit the famous site anymore and Australia will loose a fair bit of money. I believe that people need to learn that we are better off not climbing it then allowing everyone to climb it which will erode it. in other words we are better off having Uluru still here in the future than ruined and too unstable too climb. After all there is much more to look forward to when you visit Uluru as just seeing the rock should be enough to amaze you and there are many more stories around the base of the rock anyway.
Uluru Australias iconic red centre 2016, Australia, accessed 19 March 2017, <http://uluru-australia.com/about-uluru/uluru-and-aboriginal-culture/>.
Department of the Environment and Energy 2017, Preserving culture - a world first | Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australian Government, Canberra, accessed 19 March 2017, <http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/preserving-culture-world-first-uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park>.