Ants on a red rock: that's what the people that climb Uluru-kata tjuta look like. In fact, the native Anagu call tourist minga, meaning little ants. Yes, this is an impressive round monolith that stands in the middle of nowhere, measuring 9.4 kilometers in circumference rising to over 340 meters above level, with most of its volume under the ground lever.
Uluru-kata tjuta National Park struggles with keeping a balance between the need that visitors have and conserving the cultural traditions of Anangu. The raising of tourism only started in the 1950, but its impact to the environment was immediate. 20 years later, attitude was taken and all touristic accommodation facilities were relocated outside the Park. The Aboriginal Community lives within the park, but visitors are hosted in Yulara, just outside the national Park.
The Park was declared World Heritage for its outstanding universal natural values in 1987 and in 1994, for its outstanding universal cultural values. At once, the park was invaded by a touristic flood, having over 400,000 visitors in 2000. The economical benefits of this are obvious, but the impact this crowd of people has on the environment is clearly visible.
The 'Many Heads' (Kata Tjuta) - another sacred imposing red dome - is situated about 32 kilometers west, giving the entire area the look of a meteorite rain on the earth's surface. Both Both Uluru and Kata Tjuta have great historical and cultural significance to the aboriginals. The natives are now guides and while leading tourists around the rocs, they also give information on the historical values, the flora and fauna of this sacred place. Actually, the park is administered in joint management: Anagu aboriginals ordaining eight out of twelve members in the Board of Management, and Parks Australia. The park's entire policy is about maintaining the Anagu culture and heritage alive and the beauties of the ecosystem well preserved.
So despite the huge number of tourists that unwillingly destroy this World Heritage, important effort are being made to preserve both cultural and ecological values of this place.
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