TSRA delivers projects in partnership with Traditional Owners, communities, all levels of government, researchers and other partners.
Supporting job opportunities for local people to combine traditional knowledge and Western science to care for land, sea and culture in line with community and Traditional Owner priorities.
- Supports 55 Ranger roles across 14 Torres Strait communities (13 islands)
- TSRA Rangers undertake regular training and carry out various on-ground activities, including pest and weed control, marine debris management, dugong and turtle management, seagrass monitoring, cultural heritage site protection and traditional ecological knowledge recording and management.
- Rangers are trained to assist agencies to apply environmental legislation where required.
- Women make up about a third of TSRA’s Ranger workforce with a record number of 19 female Rangers, up from 8 previously.
An Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is an area of land or sea where Traditional Owners have entered into an agreement with the Australian Government to protect biodiversity and cultural values. Indigenous Protected Areas make up part of Australia’s National Reserve System.
- Three Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) have been declared and are being actively managed in the Torres Strait region: Ugul Malu Kawal, Pulu Islet IPA and Warraberalgal Porumalgal IPA.
- Rangers from associated communities are actively supporting the implementation of Plans of Management for all IPAs in the region.
- There is growing interest from Traditional Owners in regard to the extension of existing IPAs over marine estates, and in the declaration of new IPAs.
The Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Project supports participating Torres Strait communities to use a dedicated database to collect, protect and control the sharing of cultural and natural resource information while adhering to cultural protocols.
- The TEK project now operates traditional knowledge database systems across 11 communities (over 10 islands) in the Torres Strait.
- Each participating community has a dedicated TEK database system that Rangers and Traditional Owners have been trained to use for managing their TEK.
- The TSRA TEK team works with Traditional Owners from Torres Strait communities to develop resources that help communities to promote the publicly available traditional knowledge to ensure it is passed onto future generations.
- We are currently working with communities to develop Seasonal Calendar posters and booklets for four Torres Strait communities of Erub, Saibai, Masig and Mer.
- TEK is incorporated into land and sea management activities.
The Dugong and Turtle Management Project supports the sustainable take and culturally appropriate management of dugongs and marine turtles in Torres Strait in line with community based plans that integrate traditional use and contemporary science and management approaches.
The Marine Ecosystem Monitoring Project helps us to understand trends in the health of coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, and to detect negative impacts affecting these vital ecosystems.
- 6 real-time weather and observing stations have been installed in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and communities across the Torres Strait, including Maizab Kaur (Bramble Cay), Masig, Saibai, Badu, Thursday and Tuesday Islands.
- 14 sea water temperature monitoring loggers are deployed across the region.
- A Reef Scanner towed video method will be trialled in a partnership between TSRA and AIMS to enhance the capacity of Rangers from Ugar, Erub, Mer, Masig, Poruma and Iama Islands to more effectively obtain important information about the status and health of coral reefs.
- Biannual surveys of intertidal and sub-tidal seagrass meadows are completed by Rangers from the islands of Mabuiag, Badu, Moa, Iama, Mer, Poruma and Warraber across their nearby waters and reefs.
The Biosecurity and Invasive Species Management Project supports Torres Strait communities to control and manage some of the introduced plants and animals that are negatively impacting their islands. This work also helps communities to look after their islands’ natural and cultural values for future generations.
The Biodiversity Project supports the protection of the unique flora and fauna found in the Torres Strait. TSRA works with communities, Traditional Owners and scientists to undertake plant and animal surveys, and on-ground activities to protect ecosystems. TEK is also incorporated into biodiversity studies.
- Baseline biodiversity surveys have been carried out on 13 inhabited islands and more than 20 uninhabited islands.
- A Plant and Animal Book and Video has been produced for Badu Island.
- Mangrove and water quality monitoring projects have been undertaken on Badu, Moa, Boigu and Saibai.
- Profile for Management of the Habitats and Related Ecological and Cultural Values of Poruma Island
- Profile for Management of the Habitats and Related Ecological and Cultural Values Warraber
- Profile for Management of the Habitats and Related Ecological and Cultural Values Ugar
- Profile for Management of the Habitats and Related Ecological and Cultural Values Saibai
The Sustainable Horticulture Project supports Torres Strait communities to increase food garden production by providing communities and individuals with technical advice to complement their traditional knowledge and customary gardening practices.
- Facilitated workshops on outer islands to provide practical and technical demonstrations on food gardening.
- Provided guidance and assistance to establish community gardens in two communities.
- Provided guidance and support to develop and maintain plant nurseries.
This project informs communities and key stakeholders about climate impacts faced by the Torres Strait and the actions required to reduce risks and build community resilience.
- Established the Torres Strait regional coordination group to drive high level implementation of adaptation and resilience actions.
- Monitoring local temperature and humidity to assess heat risks to communities.
- Community shade tree project initiated through the Sustainable Horticulture Project.
- Climate resilient communities pilot project with the communities of Masig and Mer.
- School campuses supplied with weather stations and improved network of professional weather stations.
- Emergency information dashboard established
- Shipping risk forums and field exercises completed with AMSA and MSQ.
- Climate Change Heat Risk Assessment Report completed.
- Climate Change impacts on marine ecosystems and Fisheries technical workshop.
- Climate Change impacts on island ecosystems workshop.
- Regional Sustainable Waste Management Workshop.