Australia’s oldest Daintree forest has been returned to its traditional owner. The Daintree forest is said to be 180 million years old, and it has been on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites since 1988. Now, Eastern Kuku Yalanji people have taken formal ownership of the world’s oldest living rainforest.
More than 1,60,108 hectares (395,467) of Daintree national park’s land returned to the Eastern Kuku Yalanjipeople, traditional owners. The Eastern Kuku Yalanji people will manage the tropical rainforest with the Queensland government, and they will receive funds from the country to manage the sites.
“This is where we belong in the country, on Bubu — on land. All our ancestors called us back home. I broke down — to get it all back in a battle that we’ve lost so many, young and old, that fought for the country and now it’s all back.” said Mary-Anne Port, Yalanji traditional owner Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal corporation director.
According to Queensland, an Australian tourism site, the Daintree forest is older than the Amazon, and it was added to the world heritage site because of its “extremely important” biodiversity. The Daintree is a famous rainforest and home to hundreds of birds, mammals, reptiles, and thousands of plants. 30% of Australia’s frog population, 65% of bats and butterflies reside in the Daintree Rainforest.