The Daintree

The Daintree lowland rainforests are some of the oldest rainforests on Earth and provide a refuge for a staggering diversity of flora and fauna including the world’s highest concentration of ancient flowering plants. The area is globally recognised for its natural and cultural values and are the traditional homelands of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Peoples.

In 1982, the Daintree lowlands between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation were subdivided into 1,136 freehold properties. This opened the area up to land clearing, fragmentation, roads and invasive species. 

In 2021 lowland tropical rainforest of the Wet Tropics were listed as endangered under the Federal Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Despite this, clearing for residential development remains a threat.

We have an opportunity to better protect the integrity of this remarkable ecosystem and prevent further losses.

In a world leading and innovative conservation initiative Gondwana Rainforest Trust have partnered with the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation to purchase the remaining undeveloped freehold properties and hand them over to the Traditional Owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji People, through the Queensland Government’s Tenure Resolution Process.

Noah Creek, Daintree region. Photo: Kerry Trapnell

Through this partnership 29 properties were acquired between July 2019 and July 2023 so they can be protected in perpetuity under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act. This process allows for properties to be proposed for inclusion in the Daintree National Park (CYPAL). These acquisitions have been funded by donations from the public and demonstrates the level of public interest in the conservation of the area.

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Queensland Conservation Council have encouraged the Queensland Government to support this buy-back process to ensure this globally significant area is protected and managed by its Traditional Owners.