Kakadu National Park is a living cultural landscape internationally recognised for its outstanding natural and cultural values. The World Heritage listed park boasts an incredible array of interconnected ecosystems and rich biodiversity and to this day continues to support traditional resources for Indigenous people.
These significant values are, however, under pressure from a range of threats including weeds, feral animals, changed fire patterns and rising sea levels. Traditional Owners (Bininj and Mungguy) have a widely recognised role in environmental management in the park. Since the park was declared, it has been jointly managed by Bininj/Mungguy and Parks Australia. While this management structure facilitates shared decision making and prioritises an exchange in knowledge, skills and information, there is room to bring the interests of Kakadu’s Traditional Owners, park managers and the public into closer alignment.
This project is aimed largely at improving the management of threats to the park’s outstanding values. The first stage of this project will identify and develop research to support Indigenous natural resource management in Kakadu National Park. This research will both address threats to the Park’s values and align with the priorities of Traditional Owners, park staff and the NAER Hub. The research will also be designed to support the involvement of Aboriginal residents in onground work. The projects identified through this first stage will run as part of the NAER Hub’s research program from 2017.
The project will be led by Professor Michael Douglas from the University of Western Australia and will involve researchers from CDU and other partners in the NAER Hub. The project will work closely with Binninj/Mungguy and Park staff.