Background of Uluru
Uluru is one of the most recognisable landforms of Australia. Each year, more than 300,000 people visit Uluru. It is two hours out side of Alice springs, 25.3444 ° S, 131.0369 ° E. The land around Uluru was believed to of been full with big rocks like Uluru but because of erosion Uluru is the only rock left. Uluru was formed over 600 million years ago and is 9km in circumference and 350m tall. Uluru has great significance to the Anangu people.
The Anangu people are the rightful owners of the land and have a very strong spiritual and cultural connections the rock. The Anangu people believe that the earth was created by dream spirits, these spirits also supposably created them and the land around them. They feel connected to the rock as they were created by the same beings, and it stands as a type of mark of their territory. They tell stories through the rock and have their own spiritual beliefs about how Uluru was made. They believe the holes in the rock were made by a giant poisonous snake and the cracks were formed by an angry python women striking out on he enemies.
This connection has had major influence the Anangu people and they say that their job is to protect the rock and pass on the stories told on them.
Uluru is a joint managed area. It contains 12 members, combining Aboriginal people and people voted in from the Australian Government & Parks Australia. Uluru is a widely known site. It is heritage listed and a national park for its incredible natural and man- made sites. For Uluru to stay in its' beautiful, thriving state it must be managed responsible and be respectfully treated for the land and the people.
Problems with the Management of Uluru
Uluru is being damaged every day by tourists every day. Climbing all over the sacred rock, leaving rubbish and causing erosion. This is the cause of tourism on Uluru. The Anangu, traditional owners of the land, have used Uluru as the cultural center. They have told stories through Uluru for centuries and try to protect it. Protecting Uluru is hard when we are damaging it by climbing on it and leaving our rubbish. This, our actions are the main cause of erosion on Uluru, not weather or other natural causes, we are damaging Uluru.
Joint management between Anangu and Australian government:
The Australian Government is now in possession of 50%. This ownership of the land is primarily for economical reason, like allowing the tourists climb Uluru. Even though the Government focuses on the economical aspect they also factor in the cultural values of the Anangu people. The government and Anangu people meet together to discuss their beliefs about the protection of Uluru. There input on the protection are purely influenced by the relationship with Uluru and the stories that are told on the rock. Even though there are protection strategies enforced, the rock is still being damaged by all the tourists that climb on the rock.
There are many protection strategies that have been placed on Uluru to save the rock. An example is putting signs at the bottom of the climbing track wishing the tourists to not climb on the rock. Many climb the rock, despite the specifically stated wishes of the area’s cultural value to not climb the rock. This strategy is not the most effective but it is approached to show respect to the Anangu people. Another example is reducing the amount of tourists climbing and rising the price. Less people climbing means less rock decay, less litter and less damage on the rock. This will not solve the problem but it will definitely help with the management of Uluru.
The management has also tried to compact accommodation to a fairly small area which is not too close to the rock. This will prevent too much tourism and rubbish close to the rock. In doing this the board has also made camping anywhere in the desert. By not allowing people camping anywhere it shows the Australian governments respect to the people and the land.
Another protection strategy is that the board of management has also implemented boundaries where the land is not allowed to be changed our tampered with. Example of change is buildings or human disruptions, i.e. erosion from climbing or driving. This strategy will allow the wildlife and plant life to thrive in their own environment without human interruptions. This process is working in these areas to keep cultural value alive.
How Have these Strategies been Useful?
With enforces strategies like these it has help protect Uluru to a small degree. The strategies could improve on the effectiveness but it is better than nothing. The board of management should be more strict when it comes to climbing Uluru. Climbing Uluru should be banned not just asking you not to climb it. Banning it would increase the effectiveness by a huge percent. A large percent of the tourist are not educated about the religious value of the Anangu people and respectful tourism so that is a big part of the reason of why people climb Uluru.
Uluru in the Future
Hopefully the amount of tourism in Uluru will decrease. This will most likely happen because the rights of the Aboriginal people are still improving today. Education for respectful tourism will hopefully improve and most people will start to realise that they should not be climbing on the indigenous sacred landforms. Climbing in the future is most likely to be banned in the future for similar reasons. It is very possible the board of management could officially allow less people in to the area, because of rapid erosion cause by human actions. Overall the protection strategies are improving by a huge amount but the board still has a while to go till Uluru will be fully handed back to the Anangu people.
Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Park management, Australian Government, accessed 20 March 2017, <http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park/management-and-conservation/park-management>.
Director of National Parks 2010, Management Plan 2010-2020 | Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australian Government, Canberra, accessed 17 March 2017, <https://www.environment.gov.au/resource/management-plan-2010-2020-uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park>.
Meet Uluru's Tradition Owners 2015, television program, Splash, ABC, Australia, 27 October, http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/media/2182479/Meet-Uluru%E2%80%99s-traditional-owners.
Parks Australia 2017, About Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Australian Government, accessed 20 March 2017, <https://parksaustralia.gov.au/uluru/people-place/amazing-facts.html>.
UNESCO 2017, Uluru- Ayers Rock, accessed 20 March 2017, <http://www.sights-and-culture.com/australia/uluru.html>.