At present, Indigenous land and sea management effectiveness is mostly assessed on the biophysical outcomes and outputs produced from management activities. However, as Indigenous people across Australia have been saying for a long time, land and sea management produces many other significant social, cultural and livelihood benefits for local communities.
This project will partner with Indigenous land and sea managers to demonstrate this and to develop a framework to monitor and evaluate performance. This framework will be a key tool for Indigenous people to enable them to continue refining and improving their effectiveness and to show the real value of their land and sea management activities to the Australian public.
The project will work closely with Indigenous land managers to develop such measures, not only where the aspirations of the Indigenous managers and traditional custodians are the same as non-Indigenous interest groups, but also where Indigenous motivations are different to that of the dominant culture.
To achieve this the project will be supported and guided by the most influential group of research partners possible, representing Indigenous land management interests (North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance: NAILSMA), the non-government conservation sector (The Nature Conservancy), the Commonwealth Indigenous Protected Area program, AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) and one of the visionaries in the field of Indigenous land management, Dr Dermot Smyth. Through our connections to a range of global fora, the results of this research should have global implications for Indigenous peoples and conservation management.