01 Sep 2021
Community Action Plan Leader
Across 2020 and 2021, Cape York NRM and South Cape York Catchments ran seven workshops in Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal and Cooktown for Traditional Owners, youth and community members to contribute their ideas, aspirations, and priorities for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. These ideas resulted in the development of the South-east Cape York Reef Community Action Plan (CAP), which includes priority strategies to benefit local catchments, rivers, beaches, important species, and the Great Barrier Reef.
The next phase of this process is to turn the Plan into reality. Until September 2023, Cape York NRM is taking the role of CAP Leader to help project leaders to implement projects, to raise awareness of project achievements, and to engage the community in Reef protection activities.
Cape York Peninsula is an important and iconic place. Cape York’s eastern catchments flow directly to the top third of the world heritage Great Barrier Reef (GBR), including ten of the Reef’s 30 unique bioregions. The Cape York region has exceptional, intact wilderness areas, and a rich cultural landscape, with Traditional Custodians maintaining strong connections to Country.
Yet, there are also growing pressures on the region—people bring litter and waste that damage cultural and natural areas, roads and other disturbances cause erosion that washes sediment into waterways, land managers continue to tackle the spread of weeds and feral animals, and severe cyclones and extreme weather, driven by climate change, threaten the health of corals and coastal vegetation.
There is a need to address these pressures and take meaningful local action to preserve the values of the region.
Cape York Peninsula is one of five Reef regions to develop a CAP, with a main focus in the south-east (Endeavour, Jeannie, and Normanby catchments). The purpose of this CAP is to build on previous plans and combine the voices of Traditional Owners, community members, and youth, to identify priorities for practical on-ground activities that will benefit the local marine and coastal environment.
With the CAP development phase complete, it is now time to turn the Plan into action for the benefit of the region, local community, and the Reef.
Until September 2023, Cape York NRM will take the role of CAP Leader for the region. In this role Cape York NRM will:
- provide support and mentoring to groups that are delivering CAP projects
- engage with youth to communicate local area outcomes and provide opportunities for their involvement in Reef protection activities
- review and update the CAP annually to capture changes in community priorities
- run events and release communications materials to celebrate the achievements of the community
- participate in cross-regional activities with groups from across the Great Barrier Reef catchments
- continue to seek further funding opportunities for CAP projects.