Indigenous land management (ILM) occurs over significant proportions of northern Australia that contain many high-value environmental assets. Effective land management is vital to northern Australian development and Indigenous land managers have a strong desire to engage in the increasing level of development planning. Traditional Owners hold substantial knowledge about using, managing and safeguarding northern Australia’s natural and cultural resources, and a significant body of scientific research is also available. However, these knowledge resources have not yet fully empowered Traditional Owners’ land management and development capability. Several barriers impede effective knowledge uptake: technological barriers, such as unreliable internet access and a lack of plain English Information; social barriers such as poor health and other commitments that hinder senior custodians’ participation in knowledge-sharing; and organisational barriers such as excessive demands on staff to act as cultural brokers.
Effective knowledge brokering can help overcome barriers. Knowledge brokering is about the way we turn knowledge into action and it consists of five broad areas: problem identification, context analysis, knowledge development and selection, knowledge exchange work, and knowledge use. This project will involve Indigenous peoples as co-researchers to develop tools that will assist them to identify useful knowledge resources and explore ways they can use different types of knowledge for decision-making. It will deliver:
Indigenous stewardship of land and sea is underpinned by self-determined decision-making based on relevant knowledge. The co-research approach places Indigenous people as central to driving the design and testing of the knowledge brokering tools, and sharing their findings with other Indigenous people, through peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, and with others through digital means. Two in-depth case studies will support Indigenous land managers:
|Biosphere stewardship – reflections from indigenous governance systems and ethics of care and reciprocity (presentation)|
|The role of communities and indigenous knowledge for stewardship across scales (presentation)|
|Knowledge brokering with Indigenous land managers to support informed decisions (presentation)|
Dr Ro Hill from the CSIRO and Ms Melissa George from NAILSMA will lead the project. Dr Hill and Ms George will be supported by researchers from the CSIRO and NAILSMA. Indigenous land managers from across northern Australia will be involved in knowledge sharing activities.