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Cape York Regional NRM Plan

In early November, global leaders met in Glasgow at COP 26 (Conference of the Parties 26) to seek agreement on a path to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius.

Almost 200 countries were asked for their plans to cut emissions as a means to reduce current and future climate impacts.

These global decisions have local ramifications. The people on Cape York are already seeing the impacts of climate change, and building climate-resilient communities and industries that can adapt readily to current and future impacts will be essential to maintain and enhance a vibrant environment and economy on Cape York.

Our natural assets underpin Cape York’s economy, and ensuring their effective management helps build a more robust future. In parallel with the planning occurring at the global level, we are also planning for the future of Cape York's natural, social, and cultural assets with the review and completion of the Cape York Regional NRM Plan.

Much has been achieved during the term of the previous Plan (2016-2020), but much has also changed.  The effective management of threatened species, fire, feral animals and weeds, soil erosion, and sustainable agriculture will continue to be major natural resource management issues across Cape York.

However, new and emerging issues such as increased visitation to the Cape and increasing impacts of droughts, fire, floods, and sea-level events as a consequence of climate change, are also imposing new challenges.

Equally, there are new and emerging opportunities that will help to enhance the resilience of communities across Cape York. These include diversified incomes through:

(1) payments for ecosystem services, and new markets such as the Land Restoration Fund, providing opportunities for carbon payments as well as premiums prices for improved biodiversity, social, and cultural outcomes,

(2) the continued sealing of the Peninsula Development Road  improving access for the cattle industry, and increasing opportunities for agri-tourism and cultural-tourism, and

(3) the opportunity for new governance and business models to reduce risk and provide improved returns on investment for landholders. 

These changes, together with deepening impacts of climate change and changing support from Government and Industry, shape the emphasis of new and emerging natural resource management priorities for the future.  The new Plan provides a synthesis of the views from across Cape York, and also provides some strategic direction for the future.

The new living Cape York Regional NRM Plan 2021–2030 will now be released for ongoing public engagement, consultation, and comment in December 2021. Watch this space!

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