Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) is a huge, round, red sandstone rock formation 9.4 kilometres in circumference, rising to over 340 metres above the sand plain. Located in the south-western corner of the Northern Territory, it is situated in the lands of the Anangu people. It is close to the centre of Australia, near Alice Springs. Its longitude and latitude is 25.3444° S, 131.0369° E. Uluru has many popular tourist attractions. These include The Cultural Centre, the guided Mala Walk, Cave Hill Safari, and many more.
Recently, there have been many management and protection strategies for Uluru to stop pollution, erosion and damage from people using and changing this landscape. Everyday, thousands of people from all over the world come to Uluru to see its magnificent view. People walk and climb the rock. There are also a lot of cultural activities, religion, backburning, and manipulations to the rock. This has impacted Uluru a lot by killing native fauna, erosion, pollution, damage to flora, and cultural values have been lost over time. To stop this, national parks have been created, laws have been introduced, supervisors have been provided and education about responsible tourism. The government has encouraged people not to climb the mountain for natural and cultural reasons. They have also been monitoring tourist levels.
Management and Protection Strategies
Uluru belongs to its traditional owners, the Anangu people. Joint management between the Anangu and Australian government allows us to work together, learn from each other, respect each other's cultures, and find innovative ways to bring together different ways of seeing and interpreting the landscape and its people. Joint management also allows Anangu to continue to meet traditional land management obligations and to keep their culture strong. This protection strategy brings together cultural knowledge, and also keeps the Anangu culture strong. We can appreciate the fact the Anangu people have given us the opportunity to discover their sacred land.
Australian Government Funding
Tourism is very useful and effective for conserving and managing of protected areas. It can generate the economic support for the values of protected areas. It increases the understanding of the cultural and environmental values of Uluru, which gives good experiences for tourists. About 250,000 tourists visit Uluru every year, and these visitors provide critical support for the management and protection of Uluru. Uluru-Kata Tjuta national parks are estimated to contribute $320 million a year to the economies around them. The thousands of tourists contribute to supporting the government by visiting Uluru each year. All this money goes to the government, using it to benefit the country.
The government has encouraged tourists not to climb Uluru. Not only is this to prevent erosion and the manipulation of the rock, but to also respect the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their culture. Uluru has several cultural values and many Indigenous people have developed deep spiritual links with this traditional land. The land and its features are sacred to them, and they treat the land and people equally. Uluru is valued greatly by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and this can be seen by the paintings on and around Uluru, painted by the Indigenous people. Many people have also died while attempting to climb Uluru and others have been injured very badly. The climb is also damaging Uluru. The climb has been worn smooth, eroded by millions of footsteps climbers have taken since the 1950s.
World Heritage Site
Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site for both natural and cultural values. It was inscribed in the World Heritage list in 1987 for its natural values and in 1994 the park became the second national park in the world to be listed as a cultural landscape. Rock art in the caves around the base are evidence of the enduring cultural traditions of Anangu. Places in the listed in the World Heritage list are places that the world wants to protect for the future.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People's Knowledge
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are linked with many cultural and spiritual values to Uluru. The traditional owners of Uluru and the landscape around are the Anangu people. They took care of Uluru and the land generations before the time when the non-aboriginal people first arrived in Australia. The Anangu people know how to take care of the land, and they were the first people to live there.
Effectiveness of Strategies
Most of these strategies for managing and protecting Uluru have made a strong impact on the environment and the community around Uluru. People are more aware of climbing Uluru and pollution. Because people are now being educated about waste and the cultural values of Uluru, the degradation of Uluru is not as severe as before these strategies were made. Joint management helps both the Australian government and the Anangu government and it respects the culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Being listed as a World Heritage site protects Uluru even further, and the Australian Government funding is very effective because it will help Uluru and its surroundings prosper.
Future of Uluru
I don't think climbing Uluru will be banned in the future. This is because the government earns a lot of money from tourism; accommodation, food, shops, business and many more. If the government banned Uluru, tourists may not want to just see its natural beauty. All the money earned would drop immensely. Earning money from tourist attractions is vital for the government and helps the economy. I think Uluru will continue to be managed and the Australian Government and the Anangu people will still work together because we need to keep Uluru for natural, cultural and economic values. Tourist numbers will increase if Uluru is kept clean and free from pollution, and if Uluru doesn't lose all its cultural and spiritual values. Uluru will also be rich in culture if we keep educating people about the culture around Uluru and respecting the Anangu people.
Uluru and its Management
Uluru is a very beautiful monolith, with aesthetic, spiritual, cultural and economic values. With these management and protection strategies, Uluru has a long successful future ahead of it. These strategies reduce further damage of the precious rock and the landscape around it, keep the culture of the Anangu people and increases more tourism in the area. With these strategies in action, Uluru will have a long and successful future ahead of it. Joint management, encouraging people to not climb Uluru, Australian Government funding and being listed as a World Heritage site are examples of the strategies the government has used to keep all its aesthetic, spiritual, cultural and economic values. We must keep these strategies so that Uluru will stay beautiful for as long as it can.