As in other protected areas around Australia, staff and Traditional Owners in Kakadu National Park are committed to working together to protect the health of important values on their country. However, information is limited on how to jointly assess the health of country to guide effective co-management activities. To care for important areas, cross-cultural monitoring and evaluation frameworks need to be co-designed and trialled with Indigenous partners to develop appropriate measures of success, data sharing processes and methods for identifying priority management actions.
Bininj/Mungguy Traditional Owners have led the co-design of this research project through their Steering Committee. The project will develop and trial an adaptive approach to co-management using Bininj/Mungguy indicators to monitor and evaluate the health of important values on country. These indicators will be used to empower Bininj/Mungguy to monitor and evaluate if and how natural resource management objectives in Kakadu are being met.
The work will focus on three pilot sites representing woodland, floodplain and stone country of Kakadu. At each pilot site, Bininj/Mungguy co-researchers, Rangers and the research team will engage in an action-learning process of adaptive co-management. This will involve co-developing indicators that can be used to illustrate the health of important values on country, and methods for monitoring those indicators. The team will also determine on-ground actions at each site and monitor the health of country before and after each management activity.
Bininj/Mungguy co-researchers, Rangers and the research team will then reflect on the results to improve future natural resource management activities and contribute to monitoring, evaluating and reporting efforts in Kakadu.
This project is:
This research will focus on three pilot sites in Kakadu National Park, chosen by Bininj/Mungguy and Kakadu staff through the Bininj/Mungguy Research Steering Committee.
Robinson, C.J., Macdonald, J.M., Douglas, M., Perry, J., Setterfield, S., Cooper, D., Lee, M., Nadji, J., Nadji, S., Nayinggul, A., Nayinggul, A., Mangiru, K., Hunter, F., Coleman, B., Barrowei, R., Markham, J. Alderson, J., Moyle, F., May, K., and Bangalang, N. 2021. Using knowledge to care for country: Indigenous-led evaluations of research to adaptively co-manage Kakadu National Park, Australia. Sustain Sci (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-021-01015-9
Indigenous people face many challenges in managing their lands, including rapidly growing threats causing species extinctions and ecosystem losses. In response, many Indigenous groups are looking for ethical ways to design and apply innovative technologies to solve complex environmental management problems—specifically, technology that can work with Indigenous people’s stewardship practices and knowledge.
NESP researchers have built on long-term collaborations with Bininj Traditional Owners to develop and apply Bininj indicators of cultural-ecosystem health for the floodplains. These indicators are being used to identify priority areas for targeted para grass control and monitor the effectiveness of treatments.
Kakadu NESP Team Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion finalists.
NESP researchers have built on long-term collaborations with Bininj/Mungguy Traditional Owners to develop and apply Bininj/Mungguy indicators of cultural-ecosystem health for the floodplains. These indicators are being used to identify priority areas for targeted para grass control and monitor the effectiveness of treatments.
Dr Robinson is being supported by researchers from The University of Western Australia, Charles Darwin University, CSIRO and by Bininj/Mungguy Traditional Owners and rangers.
This project is due for completion in June 2021.
Cathy Robinson, CSIRO
E: [email protected]