10 May 2023

Iconic luxury brand investing in Cape York.

| Sarah Martin
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Apudthama Land Trust is partnering with luxury brand Louis Vuitton and the People for Wildlife charity. Picture: Derek Henderson

THE world’s biggest luxury brand, Louis Vuitton, is throwing its global weight behind conservation in remote Cape York.

The iconic French-based fashion house, ranked by Retail Times as the top brand in more than 80 countries across the world, has partnered with the Apudthama Land Trust and Australian charity People for Wildlife to protect nearly one million acres of country in the northern Cape.

Apudthama Land Trust represents the Angkamuthi, Atampaya and Gudang-Yadhakenu people and cares for some of the most biodiverse country in Australia.

The project aims to improve scientific understanding and support improved outcomes for plants and animals.

People For Wildlife’s executive director Dr Daniel Natusch said that besides a few isolated species, the conservation science community knew little about the overall status of biodiversity in the Cape.

“If trends across Northern Australia are anything to go by, it’s likely that flora and fauna species in Cape York are undergoing decline because of pressures from climate change, land clearing, changed fire regimes, introduced predators, invasive plants and animals and disease,” he said.

“We need to fill knowledge gaps so we can tailor management programs and address the drivers of decline.”

The partnership is establishing a network of monitoring and survey sites to help determine trends in biodiversity health.

In addition, weed and feral animal control will also be implemented, and fire management that supports and builds on the work of the Apudthama Land and Sea Rangers.

An Apudthama spokeswoman said the partnership had been welcomed by the community.

“As the landholding body of the northern Cape York Peninsula area we are pleased to be working with People For Wildlife and Louis Vuitton,” she said.

“We want to be able to look after this land and leave it in the best possible condition for our kids and grandkids, and we believe that traditional knowledge and western science must work together.”

“The partnership between Apudthama, People For Wildlife and Louis Vuitton recognises the important connection that we have to these landscapes, and creates more opportunity for rangers and Traditional Owners to be out on country, looking after country.”

A Louis Vuitton spokesperson said the partnership was a natural choice for the high-end brand as it sought to scale-up efforts to preserve the environment.

“Moreover, the partnership offers the opportunity to better understand the sustainable use of nature-based materials, which are the essence of luxury goods making,” the spokesperson said.

The brand’s dependence on raw materials meant the environment was a business cornerstone.

“This five-year partnership is putting sustainability at the front and centre of (Louis Vuitton’s) business vision.”

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