Dedicated in 2011, the Mandingalbay Yidinji Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) straddles the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Areas in north Queensland. Mandingalbay Yidinji country lies just east of Cairns across Trinity Inlet and includes a great diversity of environments — marine areas, mangroves, freshwater wetlands, rainforest clad mountains, coastal plains, beaches, reefs and islands. Covering a total of almost 10,000 hectares, about 1,600 hectares of which are saltwater wetland and marine areas, the Mandingalbay Yidinji IPA provides a spectacular scenic background to Cairns.
During the past 50 years, much of Mandingalbay Yidinji country was divided into government protected areas, including Grey Peaks National Park, East Trinity Environmental Reserve, Malbon Thompson Forest Reserve, Giangurra Reserve, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Trinity Inlet Fish Habitat Area. Following recognition of native title over some of Mandingalbay Yidinji country in 2006, Traditional Owners began working towards 'putting country back together' by establishing an IPA over the native title determined area and other land and sea areas with the agreement of relevant management agencies. This was the first IPA to be established over existing government protected areas.
The project has seen the development of the Mandingalbay Yidinji Rangers. This team plays a key role in the management of the area through tasks such as invasive animal and plant control, protection and management of significant sites, revegetation and rehabilitation and fire management. However, the work of the rangers is not confined to environmental management, as the project is also in the process of developing a traditional ecological knowledge recording program and keeping place. This will assist with documenting, recording and transferring Mandingalbay Yidinji knowledge and culture from current to future generations.