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:
This research will apply across the Northern Hub region.
A video from the “Knowledge brokering for Indigenous land management” project’s July workshop at Birdwood Downs. This workshop led to the Fitzroy River catchment roadshow with the 3D map.
Tengö M, Hill R, Malmer P, Raymond CM, Spierenburg M, Danielsen F, Elmqvist T & Folke C. 2017. Weaving knowledge systems in IPBES, CBD and beyond—lessons learned for sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 26–27:17-25. ISSN 1877-3435. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2016.12.005
This project is being led by Dr Ro Hill from CSIRO and Ricky Archer from NAILSMA. Dr Hill and Mr Archer will be supported by additional researchers from CSIRO and NAILSMA. Indigenous land managers from across northern Australia will be involved in knowledge sharing activities.
Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation, Garawa Traditional Owners, Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation, Jaru Claimant Group, Kija Claimant Group, Ngarrawarnji Claimant Group, Tiya-Tiya Aboriginal Corporation, Waanyi Traditional Owners, Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation, Warrwa Claimant Group, Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation, Yi-Martuwarra/Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation and Yungngora Aboriginal Corporation are collaborators in this research.