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Mandubarra Traditional Use Marine Resources Agreement (TUMRA)

Category: Agreement
Date: 1 April 2018
Sub Category:Traditional Use Marine Resource Agreement (TUMRA)
Place:Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
State/Country:Queensland, Australia
The agreement covers sea country bounded by the coastline from Mourilyan Harbour to Maria Creek on the Cassowary Coast of North Queensland. It incorporates Cowley Beach, Kurrimine Beach and the surrounding islands. The agreement covers approx 1500 square km between Innisfail and Cardwell.
Legal Status: The Marine Park Authority accredited this TUMRA in April 2018 in line with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (Cth) (Reg. 10).
Alternative Names:
  • Mandubarra TUMRA
  • Subject Matter:Collaboration / Partnership | Cultural Heritage | Environmental Heritage | Fishing | Marine | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
    URL: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-partners/traditional-owners/traditional-use-of-marine-resources-agreements
    Summary Information:

    The Mandubarra Traditional Use Marine Resource Agreement (Mandubarra TUMRA) is an agreement made under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act). It supports the Mandubarra Traditional Owner's involvement in compliance activities, research, education, youth-focused activities, junior rangers program, and ensures that the traditional use of marine resources is ecologically sustainable. 

    The Mandubarra TUMRA was made between:

    • Mandubarra Aboriginal Land and Sea Inc.;
    • the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA); and
    • the Australian and Queensland Governments.

    A TUMRA is 'an agreement, developed in accordance with the [Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (Cth)], by a Traditional Owner group, for the traditional use of marine resources in a site or area of the Marine Park' (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003). Each TUMRA has a committee to manage the agreement and related activities.

    Each TUMRA has a committee to manage the agreement and related activities.

    The Mandubarra TUMRA has a standing committee chaired by Mandubarra Traditional Owners that manages the agreement and various programs executed under its authority.

    Purpose of the Mandubarra TUMRA

    The Mandubarra TUMRA aims to increase the number of turtles and dugongs in the sea country area by establishing partnership agreements and programs to protect them. By conducting ongoing monitoring, protection, and breeding of turtles, dugongs, and seagrass, the Mandubarra Traditional Owners hope to be able to return to their traditional hunting activities (Mandubarra TUMRA Aspirational Statement).

    The TUMRA supports Traditional Owners in maintaining their cultural connection with sea country while ensuring their practice of traditional activities is sustainable. Research, education, and youth-focused activities are some of the compliance activities that the Mandubarra Traditional Owners are involved in (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Celebrating a new sea country agreement, 1).

    Mandubarra Aboriginal Land and Sea Inc.

    Since its incorporation in 2009, Mandubarra Aboriginal Land and Sea Inc. has acted as an agent for the Mandubarra Traditional Owners to perform functions specified under the Native Title Act 1993 in relation to native title, cultural heritage, and land and sea interests.

    Detailed Information:

    Background of the TUMRA framework

    For Traditional Owners, the spiritual relationship with country has been compared to the relationship one has to family; meaning it is a relationship to be loved, nurtured, cared for and above all, respected (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007, 3).

    The Indigenous Land and Sea Country Partnerships Program is a $20 million investment in Traditional Owner management of the Great Barrier Reef. The program was created to provide resources and funds for the development and implementation of TUMRAs, such as the Mandubarra TUMRA.  

    Under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003, a new framework was established to separate different 'zones' of sea country so they can be used for specific purposes. The new framework complements existing community-based measures developed by Traditional Owner Groups to protect marine life while ensuring entitlements enshrined in the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) are recognised. The new framework replaces old zoning plans and gives more power to Traditional Owners in managing the reef's resources (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007, 5).

    Under the previous approach, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the agreement area were able to undertake traditional activities like fishing, collecting, and hunting in the marine park (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007, 6). In negotiating the Mandubarra TUMRA, the Mandubarra Traditional Owners wanted to develop and manage their own community-based plans for preservation of the reef and its endangered species, in the face of increased tourism and commercialisation.

    Details of the Mandubarra TUMRA

    The Mandubarra TUMRA was developed under the Reef Rescue Land and Sea Country Indigenous Partnerships Program, which was designed to enable the creation of TUMRAs that provide guidelines for equal negotiations.

    The Mandubarra TUMRA was developed to provide sustainable outcomes for Traditional Owners and community members while increasing knowledge about cultural preservation of the Great Barrier Reef and its threatened species.

    Prior to the Manubarra TUMRA, the Traditional Owners faced complex challenges in protecting the reef and its species, especially because they live adjacent to the most urbanised, commercial, and tourism-based area of sea country (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Traditional Use of Marine Resource Summary). To address this challenge, the Mandubarra TUMRA implements various restrictions on tourist and traditional activities in the agreement area (Mandubarra TUMRA Aspirational Statement). Turtles, dugongs, and seabirds are protected throughout their nesting season under a turtle monitoring program and a marine animal stranding program (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Celebrating a new sea country agreement, 1).

    The Mandubarra Traditional Owners are committed to caring for their country, passing on knowledge and culture, and protecting sacred sites. They oversee the management of the reef, Junior Rangers Program, Marine Animal Stranding Program, and a Turtle Nesting Monitoring Program as part of their responsibility to their ancestors, children, and culture (Mandubarra TUMRA Aspirational Statement). With funding from the Indigenous Land and Sea Country Partnerships Program, an Indigenous rangers program allows Traditional Owners to tutor young adults in the practices of custodianship, responsibility, caring for sea country, and managing the reef (Brad Appo, Mandubarra Traditional Owner).

    The Mandubarra Traditional Owners maintain collaborative partnerships with neighbouring groups and organisations to enable the effective management of sea country, including:

    • GBRMPA;
    • Queensland Government;
    • Queensland Government Investment Portal (DNPSR);
    • Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service;
    • James Cook University;
    • Terrain Natural Resource Management;
    • Biosecurity (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries); and
    • Neighbouring Traditional Owners and Indigenous corporations.

    In accordance with the Mandubarra TUMRA, the hunting of turtles, dugong and seagrass is not allowed by tourists or Traditional Owners in the agreement area. While Mandubarra Traditional Owners can legally take turtles and dugong by exercising their rights under s 211 of the Native Title Act 1993, they have chosen to prohibit this activity (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Celebrating a new sea country agreement, 1).

    Mandubarra TUMRA area

    The Mandubarra TUMRA includes the coastal waters immediately to the south of Mourilyan Harbour to Maria Creek, Kurrimine Beach, Cowley Beach, Linguist Island, Bresnahan Island, Hutchinson Island, Jesse Island, Kent Island, South Bernard, Stephenson Island and Sister Island.

    The agreement area is divided into eight zones, each designed to obtain and preserve a different goal: (a) the General Use Zone; (b) the Habitat Protection Zone; (c) the Conservation Park Zone; (d) the Buffer Zone; (e) the Scientific Research Zone; (f) the Marine National Park Zone; (g) the Preservation Zone; (h) the Commonwealth Islands Zone.


    Related Entries

    Organisation
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - Signatory
  • State of Queensland - Signatory
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Cth)
  • Terrain Natural Resource Management
  • Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service
  • Legislation
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (Cth)
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)

  • References

    Media Release
    Department of the Environment and Heritage Working Together to Improve Indigenous Land Management
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (21 June 2018) Celebrating a new sea country agreement
    Report
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (2007) A Reef Wide Framework for Managing Traditional Use of Marine Resources in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (2003) Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003
    Resource
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Heritage Committee (1972) Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
    Resource Section
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (2020) Traditional Use of Marine Resource Agreement Summary
    Mandubarra Aboriginal Land and Sea Inc. (2018) Mandubarra TUMRA Aspirational Statement

    Glossary

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Traditional Use Marine Resource Agreements | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Framework Agreement | Local Government | Native Title (Australia) | Indigenous Partnership | Indigenous Protected Area (Australia)

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