Indigenous rangers of the Great Barrier Reef win Prince William Environmental Award

A women-led indigenous ranger program protecting and restoring the Great Barrier Reef has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Earthshot Award from HRH Prince William in Boston, USA.

The winning program combines 65,000 years of indigenous knowledge with digital technologies like drones to monitor coral changes and wildfires to protect precious lands and seas.

Established in 2018, the network was designed to provide a forum for women rangers to share their experiences, ideas and information and has since trained more than 60 women.

The proud woman of Yuku Baja Muliku and Queensland’s first female Indigenous Ranger Coordinator, Larissa Hale, accepted the prestigious £1 million award on behalf of the Indigenous women who are protecting and restoring the Great Barrier Reef.

Launched in 2020 by His Royal Highness Prince William and The Royal Foundation, the Earthshot Prize is the world’s most prestigious environmental award, designed to discover, highlight and scale innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

Quotes attributable to Larissa Hale:

“I am thrilled and honored to see the Queensland Indigenous Women’s Ranger Network recognized on the global platform provided by the Earthshot Award.

“Winning one of the five Earthshot 2022 Awards is a game changer for our network of women rangers that exists to protect the Great Barrier Reef and our entire vital land and sea country – our home.

“The Queensland Women’s Indigenous Ranger Program is the only First Nations women’s program linking technology solutions and start-up opportunities with ‘in-country’ environmental outcomes in Australia.

“Winning this award means we can increase the number of indigenous rangers, as well as have 200 girls in an education program, inspiring the next generation of indigenous rangers.

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“Beyond that, our ambition is to reach out to a network of countries around the world to build a global collective to help fix the planet.

“This would create a global wave of conservation programs led by First Nations women.

“Many people are concerned about climate change and the destruction of nature. This place has always been our home, but today we risk losing it and the unique culture that has existed here for millennia.

“But I think it is not too late to act. We have the power to change this if we stand up now, work together, and take action.

“I am grateful to the Earthshot Prize for supporting our vision to achieve this.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister of Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek:

“I am absolutely thrilled for Larissa and her team.

“Currently only 20% of indigenous rangers in Queensland are women, I hope this award helps raise awareness of this vital work to increase the number of women rangers on the Reef and beyond.

“We know that the Great Barrier Reef is threatened by the impacts of climate change, poor water quality, plastic pollution, crown-of-thorns starfish, and unsustainable fishing practices.

“Indigenous reef rangers are vital to its defense.

“Indigenous rangers play a vital role in restoring and preserving land and water, including the reef, by helping to protect both biodiversity and cultural values. The programs also provide jobs in regional and remote communities, stay connected to the country, and grow local economies.

“This is why the Albanian Labor government has committed to doubling the number of indigenous rangers by 2030 and increased funding for indigenous protected areas by $10 million.”

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About the Queensland Indigenous Women’s Ranger Network

The Queensland Indigenous Women’s Ranger Network (QIWRN) was established in 2018 to provide a forum for women rangers to share their experiences, ideas and information; provide support and advice; and enable connections in remote and isolated communities.

QIWRN is delivered by Yuku Baja Muliku Landowner and Reserves, a Cooktown-based group of Traditional Owners who were the successful winners of a joint grant from the Queensland Government and WWF Australia to establish a statewide women’s land and sea ranger network.

Yuku Baja Muliku ranger coordinator Larissa Hale is a trailblazer for indigenous women. Larissa was the first female Indigenous Ranger Coordinator in Queensland and is also Managing Director of Yuku Baja Muliku Landowner and Reserves.

QIWRN has been co-designed by indigenous women, government and non-government agencies, land councils and other stakeholders as a highly collaborative program that provides lasting support, opportunity and security for indigenous women rangers across Queensland.

About the Earthshot Prize

Launched in 2020 by His Royal Highness Prince William and The Royal Foundation, the Earthshot Prize is the world’s most prestigious environmental award, designed to discover, highlight and scale innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s 1960 “Moonshot,” which united the American people around the seemingly impossible goal of reaching the moon, the Earthshot Prize was founded to mobilize a wave of innovation and inspire a collective mindset. of optimism, possibility and creativity in the global race to repair and regenerate our planet.

The Earthshot Prize focuses on five ‘Earthshots’: simple, ambitious and aspirational.

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goals that define the world we want to build for future generations. Each Earthshot is backed by scientifically agreed goals and targets, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other internationally recognized measures to help repair our planet.

The five Earthshots are:

• Protect and restore nature

• Clean our air

• Revive our oceans

• Build a world without waste

• Fix our weather

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