Uluru management By Paris iliffe

Introduction

Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is one of Australia's most well-known landmarks. It is situated in the South of the Northern Territiory, to 460km southwest of Alice Springs. The longitude and latitude of Uluru being 25.3444° S, 131.0369° E. Uluru is a very popular tourist site, attracting thousands of tourists a year. Uluru is also a very sacred site to the Aboriginals, and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago.

Management and protection strategies

The Australian government, in conjunction with Anangu people, created a joint management plan to conserve and protect the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It is active from 2010 to 2020. Anangu and Parks Australia staff have worked together to manage the park, aiming to maintain Anangu culture and heritage, conserve and protect the integrity of the ecological systems in and around the park, and provide for visitor enjoyment and learning opportunities within the park. In 1985, the traditional owners of the land signed a lease agreement that ensures that the Director of National Parks:

• has an Anangu majority on the Board of Management

• encourages the maintenance of Anangu tradition through protection of sacred sites and other areas of significance

• maximises Anangu involvement in park administration and management, and provides necessary training

• delivers training programs to Anangu to enable them to take up employment in the park

• maximises Anangu employment in the park by accommodating Anangu needs and cultural obligations with flexible working conditions

• uses Anangu traditional skills in park management

• actively supports the delivery of cross-cultural training by Anangu to park staff, local residents and park visitors

• consults regularly with Anangu

• encourages Anangu commercial activities in the park

• makes rental payments to the members of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta lands trust

• maintains the park to best practice standards

• involves Anangu in staff selection

Back burning is also an important part of Uluru-Kata Tjuta park management. Many of the plants rely on fire to regenerate. Fire encourages bush foods to grow and flushes out game. Burning also reduces fuel loads, preventing the risk of large wildfires. When burning, rangers are guided by traditional owners, using knowledge and western science to improve the health of the park.

Although climbing Uluru is not prohibited, tourists have been encouraged not to climb as it is an important sacred sight for the Aboriginals. Climbing Uluru can be quite dangerous and is physically demanding. Also, climbing Uluru can have environmental impacts. By climbing, you are eroding the rock, and the climb has already been worn smooth. Each step a climber takes changes the face of Uluru. In 2010 the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board of management decided to start working towards closing the climb for cultural, safety and environmental reasons. They won't permanently close the climb without significant industry consultation and until they have alternative experiences in place for visitors. Most of the people who visit Uluru today choose not to climb. They choose not to climb for many reasons, including their own fitness, but most people say it is out of respect for Anangu.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is World Heritage listed for both natural and cultural values.

Evaluation of effectiveness of strategies

I think that the management and protection strategies put in place are working. The Australian government, along with the Anangu people are working together effectively to maintain Anangu culture and heritage, conserve and protect the integrity of the ecological systems in and around the park, and provide for visitor enjoyment and learning opportunities within the park. These strategies are working because the Australian government and the Anangu people are working together, they would not make any progress in protecting the park if they were not working together. The fact that many people come to to visit Uluru and choose not climb shows that they are making a difference and that their strategies are working. Also, they are improving the health of the land through not only education but through back burning. Back burning is reducing the amount of risk of a large wildfire and allows many plants to regenerate. The Australian government and the Anangu people are working well together to conserve and manage Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Future of Uluru

I think that the future of Uluru is not only in the Australian government and Anangu people’s hands but tourists as well. It is the government’s job to educate people, but the tourist’s job to listen and understand. I think that in the future, many people will be educated on the importance of Uluru and will choose not to climb. So that when climbing Uluru is banned, most people will agree and there will not be much of a fight. If climbing Uluru is banned, I think that it will have to still be managed as there will be more infrastructure, which will keep the tourists coming. In the future, depending on what will be built in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National park, I think tourist numbers will increase because there will be more to do, even if tourists cannot climb Uluru.

Conclusion

Uluru is a very popular tourist sight in Australia but it is also a sacred sight to Indigenous people of the land. The Australian government has joined with the Anangu people and created a plan to manage and protect the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Climbing is not only disrespectful to the Anangu people, but it is also eroding the rock. Although climbing Uluru is not prohibited, it is strongly encouraged not to climb. With the management and protection plan put in place, not many people climb anymore and the environment is being conserved. The Australian government and the Anangu people use strategies such as back burning to regenerate the land and reduce wildfire. They are working together effectively to maintain Anangu culture and heritage, conserve and protect the integrity of the ecological systems in and around the park, and provide for visitor enjoyment and learning opportunities within the park.

Bibliography

• Conserving Uluru-Kata Tjuta n.d., Australian government, accessed 20 March 2017, <http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park/management-and-conservation/conserving-uluru>.

• Director of national parks, 2010, Management Plan 2010-2020 | Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australian government, accessed 20 March 2017, <https://www.environment.gov.au/resource/management-plan-2010-2020-uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park>.

• Our conservation 2016, Parks australia, accessed 20 March 2017, <https://parksaustralia.gov.au/uluru/people-place/conservation.html>.

• Park management n.d., Australian government, accessed 20 March 2017, <http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park/management-and-conservation/park-management>.

• Please don't climb n.d., Australian government, accessed 20 March 2017, <http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park/management-and-conservation/please-dont-climb>.

• Welcome to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National park n.d., Australian government, accessed 20 March 2017, <http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park>.

Credits:

Created with images by Walkerssk - "uluru australia monolith" • walesjacqueline - "uluru ayers rock australia" • robertpaulyoung - "Uluru" • wheres_dot - "Walking around Uluru 2"

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