EMERGING INITIATIVE — On Country Incubator

Elevating the expertise within Indigenous and local communities to activate nature-based climate solutions.

Ngurarra Rangers painting their logo on the Kimberley Ranger Forum canvas at Home Valley Station in 2017

© Ngurrara Rangers

The On Country Incubator is the seed of an idea that aims to nurture innovation and incubate community-based nature enterprise. The project nestles Pollination Foundations strategy to seed innovation founded on culture, creativity and deep knowledge of ecosystem health.


Across Australia, native title claims have consolidated an Indigenous estate that covers more than 20% of Australia’s land mass. Over 40% of the Indigenous estate is protected for cultural and natural values under the Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) program. The network of IPAs adds up to almost half (45%) of Australia’s national reserve system and provides a world leading model of Indigenous-led conservation.

Despite this success, most funding for Indigenous-led conservation continues to come from government. Meanwhile, there’s an enormous opportunity: connecting a global network of nature-based market expertise with the skills and knowledge that lives on country to inspire new models and bring Indigenous owned nature enterprise opportunities to life. The key to unlocking this potential on country lies in greater diversity in income streams and connecting community to patient capital and joint venture partners.

The ‘On Country Incubator’ will focus on nature-based enterprise opportunities within landscapes & seascapes and ideate on skyscapes.

Image credits

Jeremy Bezan
The Tampa Bay Estuary Program

On Country Incubator concept is to connect rural and remote communities with best practice expertise, to structure communities’ nature-based enterprise ideas, connect them to new networks and secure new sources of finance.  The long-term goal is to co-create an eco-system of community-owned natural climate solutions that contribute to place based economies and a climate resilient future.

The model will be co-designed with Indigenous and local community organisations passionate about nature centred enterprise, philanthropists who are open to testing new ideas, research organisations, investors and corporate partners committed to a just transition to a climate resilient future.

This initiative offers a unique opportunity in Australia to elevate and invest in knowledge that Indigenous and local communities hold, to create place-based economies that nurture people, their knowledge and the environment.

But the potential impacts of the On Country Incubator extend far beyond Australian shores: Globally, the UNFCCC Paris Agreement recognises Indigenous solutions as critical to a climate resilient future and central to the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 global biodiversity framework. And with a growing demand for new products and markets that value nature, On Country Incubator will provide invaluable insight into how this can be successfully achieved.


Project Contact

Ariadne Gorring

Co-CEO Pollination Foundation

Ariadne is passionate about Indigenous-led cultural conservation, working with the Kimberley Land Council (KLC) for over 20 years on native title and cultural and natural resource management. Ariadne worked with 14 Native Title groups to register the West Kimberley on the National Heritage List. She led the registration of the North Kimberley Savanna Carbon Projects – the first in Australia to be registered on native title lands. She has engaged with national and international networks to promote best practice models of Indigenous led conservation. She was a Committee Member, World Indigenous Network Conference in Darwin; and Presenter at World Parks Congress, Sydney, and United Nations Climate Change Conference, Paris. She’s an Atlantic Fellow for Social Equity Melbourne University; and recipient of The Nature Conservancy’s Barbara Thomas Fellowship in Conservation Financing.


Project partners

If you're a community organisation leading nature eneterprise or a grantmaker focused on rural and remote econonmies and are interested in partnering, email us.

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