Indigenous Communities

and the Environment

Swimming Gaywaratja river  Northern Territory

Laynhapuy Indigenous Protected Area

North-east Arnhem Land | Declared in September 2006

Map showing the location of Laynhapuy Indigenous Protected Area, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

The importance of the IPA lies in the coming together of natural values and the fact that we continue to live on our lands and keep strong our culture, our traditional knowledge and our use and management of our country.
Our country continues to nurture us as it did our ancestors and this we also wish for our children. This is our home.
Laynhapuy Homelands Association Inc.


Photos: (Left) Wararrpa near Yilpara. (Right) Fire Management training near Gurrumurru. (Bottom) Removal of marine debris and ghost nets, Laynhapuy coast.

Located in north-east Arnhem Land, Laynhapuy Indigenous Protected Area's (IPA's) natural environment and rare flora and fauna are virtually intact. Declared in September 2006, the 690,000 hectare IPA protects internationally significant wetlands and coastal landforms, and its sea country is home to endangered turtles and dugong. Laynhapuy IPA is administered by the Laynhapuy Homelands Association Incorporated. Adjacent to the Dhimurru and Anindilyakwa IPAs, the three groups of Traditional Owners are linked by family, ceremonial and other cultural connections. Members of the three land management groups share information and cooperate on management and training programs.

The local Yolngu people are guardians of one of the oldest living cultures in the world. It is believed that interactions with outsiders first occurred around the sixteenth century through trade relations with Macassan fishermen. Many of the sites central to this relationship will be protected by IPA activities.

On Laynhapuy IPA, only senior Traditional Owners are able to speak for their country and approve land management activities. Representative Traditional Owners guide the management of the Laynhapuy Homelands Association, and set priorities for the management program and ranger activities.

The Laynhapuy community is committed to the development of visitor management activities and a sustainable tourism plan. They are working to protect culture and cultural sites, and to control feral weeds, pigs and buffalo. Traditional burning techniques are used on the IPA and management of the sea and coast is a priority, including removal of marine debris and monitoring of turtle habitats. The local Yirralka Rangers assist with these activities, addressing threats to cultural and environmental values.

Laynhapuy IPA is managed in line with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Category VI - a protected area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural ecosystems.

Download the Laynhapuy Indigenous Protected Area - fact sheet (PDF - 663KB)