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Rio Tinto is set to invest $8 million over fives years in partnership with the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to enhance conservation land management.

The project will aim to protect areas of high conservation value while integrating Traditional Owners’ knowledge of the land and supporting ranger programs in Karijini and Millstream Chichester National Parks.

“This project will enable DBCA and Traditional Owners to continue caring for Country and importantly put Traditional Owner knowledge at the heart of conservation management for this environmentally, culturally and economically significant region,” Rio Tinto vice president health, safety, environment and communities Cecile Thaxter said.

“Maintaining Pilbara biodiversity is critical not only for our business today but also for future generations within the region, and we recognise our responsibility to understand and effectively mitigate our impacts on nature through collaborative partnerships.”

Rio Tinto has been partnering with DBCA and Traditional Owners since 2015. This new project adds to the major’s range of partnerships.

“Conservation is a shared responsibility, and this new partnership demonstrates how Government, industry and Traditional Owners can work together to manage biodiversity values through practical on-ground actions,” WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby said.

“The Pilbara is a special place – its habitat is home to some species of animals and plants you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

“Karijini National Park is the Pilbara’s key tourist attraction, with over 300,000 visitors annually. This project will do wonders for its conservation into the future.”