What are the threats to the Daintree? - Rawlins A

Managing the threats facing the
Daintree Rainforest
What do we know already about the
Daintree Rainforest?
What are the threats to the Daintree?
 Tourism-
 Worth 141.7 million Australian $ a year
 Many partake in destructive activities there- such as fishing, 4
wheel drive tours, walking, reef diving, horse riding
 Ferry carries 700 vehicles across river daily
 0.5 million visitors annually
 Increased accommodation since 1991
 70% of tourists visit independently- 30% with registered coach
 Recent improvements- road tarmac increasing visitor
 Visitors think there’s too much accommodation and enough
walking tracks already in place
What are the threats to the Daintree?
 Growth and change in Port Douglas
 Population 4000
 Large visitor numbers have led to decline in small local shops
replaced by a small supermarket
 Property booms
 2 new resorts just nearing completion, 2 underway and 2
more in process of planning
 Small forest areas have been divided up and sold to
developers- some have been built on and environmental
concerns have been addressed others have been turned to
cattle ranches
 Red cedar became extinct in 2000 after builder removed all
 If land clearing isn’t stopped 85 rare plant species stand to be
Limits to development
 Ferry capacity limits traffic, population
and visitor levels
 No Mains electric north of river- so
people there have to generate own
through RAPS, own generators or
solar power
 Local services only support small local
population- no mains water or sewer
disposal system
 In 2000 planners gained permission
for a McDonalds on site, but now it
has been withdrawn- citing a
destruction of local values and too
much change as reasons
 Began in late 1860’s to
cultivate sugar cane
production continued to
early 1990s
 Most clearance today, for
pasture (86%), with
remainder cleared for crops
(10%), mining infrastructure
and settlement (4%)
 Shift from central to
southern Queensland away
from Daintree
 Add the threats faced by the Daintree to your case
 Which threat/s to the Daintree do you perceive to be
the biggest? Why?
 What are the causes of deforestation? Classify into
social, economic and environmental
Managing the Daintree
Who is involved in the
management? Key players
 Wet tropics management
 Douglas Shire Council (till2008)
then Cairns regional council
 Australian Rainforest Foundation
 Wildlife preservation society of
 Australian Tropical Research
 Rainforest cooperative research
 You will each be given a key player
You must research your position using the parrot book
Look at what strategies they have put in place
Why they are doing it
Have they been successful
 There are obviously conflicts in the ways different
groups want to manage the Daintree
 How far are the conflicts a case of economic v
environment? Is anything as important? Why?
 How would you manage it? Which ideas would you
keep/ discard? Why? Other ideas? Sustainability?
Wet tropics management authority
Formed 1990
Based in Cairns, main functionsDeveloping and implementing plans and policies
Researching and monitoring enhancing understanding of the
importance of the heritage area- monitoring state of wet tropics
Developing management agreements with landholders and
Providing education through visitor centres
Promotion of the area
Douglas Shire council
 Aims were to gradually reduce population in Daintree
 Increased ferry coasts to limit numbers, but numbers
still increasing
 Rejected plans for a bridge across river to replace
ferry and rejected another ferry option- on grounds
that extra visitors and pop. Would endanger
Rainforest cooperative research
 Community development-
 12-1400 people to live in area and be involved in stewardship and
conservation of land
 Base employment on tourism, organic Farming, tropical horticulture and
small business ops.
 Settle about 600 blocks of land
 Biodiversity conservation-
 adopt settlement and land management practices on private land to
protect the outstanding biodiversity
 Identify biodiversity hotspots for conservation for no development
 Identify threats from wild animals
 540 blocks remain unsettled
Report from 2000- found unless action was taken, area would
see increase in residential development, loss of biodiversity and
reduction in attractiveness to tourists. They implemented these
strategies to try to build a SUSTAINABLE future for the area
Rainforest cooperative research
 Douglas Shire Council/ Cairns regional council-
 Introduce planning controls for biodiversity conservation
 Ensure settlement densities are sustainable
 Electricity supply-
 When settlement densities are at sustainable level, use underground cables to
extend supply far north as copper creek
 People north of copper creek remain on RAPS
 Indigenous people-
 Recognise the rights of aboriginal peoples to own land and promote their culture
within the forest
 Water supply and waste management-
 Keep water extraction from streams and underground supplies within sustainable
 Use best available domestic tech for waste disposal
Rainforest cooperative research
 Roads and ferry
Ferry to remain gateway to area as essential access
Improve tourist facilities south of river and recreation facilities north of
Reduce forest cut backs- the road to cap tribulation should be a green tunnel with
windows through the forest to mountain and coast scenery
 Tourism
Increase tourist numbers to 550,000 to boost and maintain local economy
Increase no. of tourists staying for 7ral nights or more and revisiting area
Monitor tourist impacts and ensure sustainability
Use ferry income to assist community services infrastructure and conservation
Establish Daintree Land trust to support land acquisition and pay compensation for lost
Meet cost of priority purchase and financial incentives for conservation
Subsidise electricity supply
 Financing
Australian Rainforest Foundation
 Not for profit organisation dedicated to education, research and
habitat rehabilitation- involved in variety of projects Operation Big Bird- creation of 250km wide wildlife corridor to
help protect the Cassowary- path will link Cairns too southern
coast town of Cardwell- these help biodiversity by enabling
species movement to feed, breed and colonise
 Australian govt has funded ARF for range of conservation
initiatives- including BUY BACK, process of buying back land
from developers who previously purchased it to reduce
 Encourages remaining developers to do so in an eco way
through education
Wildlife Preservation Society of
 Community based not for profit conservation group.
Committed to a sustainable future for people and
 Support ban on development in the area
Australian Tropical Research
 Created 1993
 Oversee operation of visitor centres and education
facilities at the Cape tribulation tropical research
station and the wet tropics visitor centre- highlight
global importance of the tropical forest ecosystem

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