The bioregion provides much of Western Australia’s exports in petroleum, natural gas and iron ore. It generates about 30 per cent of Australia’s GDP but contains only about two per cent of the country’s population located in major population centres, Karratha, Port Hedland, Newman and Tom Price.
Tenure comprises Aboriginal land, pastoral and industry leasehold, conservation reserves and areas managed by the Crown. More than 50 per cent of the land is under pastoral leasehold, eight per cent of lands are in the conservation estate, including Karijini National Park and the Millstream Chichester National Park.
The Federal Government has recognised the Pilbara as one of high conservation value and one worth protecting. It has acknowledged that the area has a largely intact ecosystem that can be protected, and potentially enhanced, through focused and directed land management.