The 10 Deserts Project

Extending across ten deserts, these globally significant arid lands are home to an exceptional diversity of animals and plants including over 80 threatened plants and animals (such as bilbies and rock wallabies).  The area also has immense cultural value largely as a result of 50,000 years of continuous occupation by Indigenous people.  Despite being relatively intact, these unique desert ecosystems and the values they contain are under increasing threat due to inadequate resources for land management activities, invasive exotic weeds and introduced pests, changed fire regimes, climate change and the movement off country over the past 150 years of the lands’ traditional custodians.

The 10 Deserts Project, led by the Indigenous Desert Alliance, aims to build the capacity of Indigenous groups to look after country for a range of economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes.

The project integrates contemporary natural resource management best-practice with traditional cultural and ecological knowledge and establish systems and approaches, including long-term financing and market enabling strategies that will build environmental resilience across the desert landscape.

Collaborative land management

The 10 Deserts Project is the largest connected network of protected areas in the world with 173 areas recognised as a part of the National Reserve System and the largest network of Indigenous-managed lands in the world with a total of 21 Indigenous Protected Areas.

The project provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate collective action to build environmental resilience at an unprecedented scale worldwide, led by Indigenous organisations with the support of external stakeholders.  Strategic collaborations and coordinated responses to key threats will be transformational in assisting Indigenous organisations to develop new and creative responses to challenges of low capacity and landscape scale management.

Strategies, activities and outcomes

Strategy Wheel

The 10 Deserts Project strategy wheel shows how each of the project activities are interconnected and lead into each other.

The project strategies are listed and colour coded on the left hand side:

  • building the capacity of indigenous people (blue)
  • managing key threats (orange)
  • creating sustainable jobs and income (green)
  • collaboration and connectivity (light grey)

The colours of the strategies are reflected in the wheel colour of the project activities.  The light grey background represents the overarching strategy of collaboration and connectivity across the deserts.

The project activities include:

  • fire management
  • supporting ranger teams
  • learning, sharing and exchange
  • Indigenous cultural & ecological knowledge
  • regional tourism
  • carbon & co-benefits
  • climate change
  • buffel free GVD
  • feral camel management

At the heart of the wheel are the key project goals: healthy people, healthy country, strong voice for the desert.

At the base are all of our project partner logos – they are the foundation of the project.

Steering Committee

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