The Gumbaynggirr people of the mid-north coast have instigated a new initiative that combines traditional ecological knowledge and western scientific methods to better protect and manage Country and koala populations on the mid-north coast.
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Koala Strategy has supported the initiative, which has culminated in the creation of the Gumbayniggir Good Koala Country Plan. The plan is founded on cultural Law and Knowledge, and specifically on the Bularri Gagu Dunggirr Songline (Two Koala Brothers). This oral history describes changes in the climate from over 12,000 to 7,000 years ago, and the Good Koala Country Plan highlights climate change as a threat to Country and koala populations.
The plan includes management actions based on seasonal calendars and the re-establishment of cultural fire regimes. Cultural fire regimes take into consideration connection to place, relationships and environmental values and so are able to be responsive to ecological cues and indicators in a way that western-style hazard reduction burns are not. Hazard reduction burns focus on protecting life and property, while cultural burns can focus on the overall health of Country.
Learn more about this exciting initiative and access further resources on koalas at koala.nsw.gov.au/portfolio/gumbaynggirr-good-koala-country-plan/