World's oldest rainforest given to Indigenous group

In a ceremony on Wednesday the Australian state of Queensland granted land deeds to a local Indigenous group, giving them ownership of the world's oldest rainforest.

The Daintree Rainforest, listed as a World Heritage Site since 1988, has been growing for 180 million years and is famed for its rich biodiversity.

But the ecosystem has come under sustained pressure from climate change and industries such as logging.

In striking a new deal to manage the rainforest, Queensland said the Daintree would be returned to the traditional owners of the land.

Queensland environment minister Meaghan Scanlon.

"Yeah today is a really important milestone in Queensland's history and really rights the wrongs of some of the past in this state. Of course here in Queensland this is home to the oldest, oldest rainforest in the world and this hand-back will really mean that the oldest living culture continues to be able to protect that important asset."

Lynette Rose Johnson is an Indigenous representative.

"I can't explain it except that my heart and my spirit is just so full. It's joyous, I listen to the land, I listen to the ocean, I listen to the birds and I just love it. I listen to the undertones of what's going on, the wind. Yeah, I mean, in my lifetime I would never thought I'd ever even be on Jabalbina. And I'd give thanks to those that have long gone and it was their dream and now that dream has become a reality."

The deal is the first time Queensland has transferred the ownership of a national park in the Wet Tropics region to an Indigenous group.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting