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Literature Review

Altman, Jon, Buchanan, G.J and Larsen, L., 2007. The Environmental Significance of the Indigenous Estate: Natural Resource Management as Economic Development in Remote Australia. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper No 286, The Australian National University, Canberra.

Altman et al. map Indigenous land holdings across Australia in terms of their environmental significance, recognising the significant proportion of areas which are of high conservation priority. The authors advocate for investment into caring for country activities to support the dual benefits of conservation and economic development in areas distant from mainstream labour markets, providing an avenue for employment beyond industries such as mining, tourism, pastoralism and public service. The research aims to challenge the view that Indigenous livelihoods are not sustainable in remote areas by introducing models of economic development, such as payment for environmental services (PES), that are based upon recognising and valuing the national environmental benefit that occurs through Indigenous land management.

Altman, J., 2011. Alternate Development for Indigenous Territories of Difference. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper Topical Issue No. 5/2011, The Australian National University, Canberra.

Altman, J., 2011. Wild Rivers and Indigenous Economic Development In Queensland. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper Topical Issue No. 6/2011, The Australian National University, Canberra.

Barber, M. and Jackson, S., 2011. Indigenous water values and water planning in the upper Roper River, Northern Territory. CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship.

Barber and Jackson report on the findings of research conducted in the upper Roper River in the Northern Territory, which examined the general values, comments and perspectives relevant to contemporary water planning and management. Their research found: that water is understood as an integral part of the world created by ancestral beings during ‘the Dreaming’; that places of permanent water are usually of key significance; ancestral beings associated with water play an important role in regional connectivity; and that water is bound by a range of practice, protocols and prohibitions. They argue that the values and interests in water expressed by Indigenous people in the upper Roper are consistent with the values and interests expressed by Indigenous people reported elsewhere in published literature. Their findings inform Indigenous people’s responses to contemporary water planning and management, based on a sense of ownership and obligation.

Burgess, Paul, Johnston, F.H., Bowman, D.M.J.S., and Whitehead, P.J., 2005. ‘Healthy Country: Healthy People? Exploring the health benefits of Indigenous natural resource management. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol.29, no.2, pp. 117-122.

Through a review of the literature in the areas of health, social science and ecology, Burgess et al. demonstrate that country and connection to country is intricately linked to caring for country, maintaining cultural life, identity, individual autonomy and Indigenous sovereignty, all of which are linked to improved health outcomes for Indigenous people. The concept of caring for country focuses on the relationships between nature and humans, and nature is seen as living and connected to human life.

Burgess et al. highlight the failure of alternative health paradigms, encouraging a recognition of caring for country as a model for improving the physical, social and psychological health and well-being of Indigenous people, while also contributing to sustainable community development, biodiversity conservation and opportunities to resolve social disparities and disadvantage for Indigenous people.

Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, 2010. Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan. The University of Western Australia, Nedlands.

The objective of the Fitzroy River Catchment Management plan is to development a management plan for future development of the catchment region that meets the needs of all stakeholders for maintaining the key values of the region, through community engagement and catchment planning.

CSIRO, 2009. Water in the Gulf of Carpentaria Drainage Division. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Northern Australia Northern Yields Project. Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO) Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, Australia, 479pp.

Daly Region Community Reference Group, 2004. Executive Summary.

Daly Region Community Reference Group, 2004. Draft Report.

Daly River Management Advisory Committee, 2010. Annual Report: 2009-2010. Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport, Palmerston.

Daly River Management Advisory Committee, 2007. Adaptive Management Framework for Native Vegetation Clearing in the Daly River Catchment. Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport, Palmerston.

Department of Water, 2009. Fitzroy Catchment subregion overview and future directions: Kimberley regional water plan and discussion paper. Department of Water, Perth.

This discussion paper provides a profile of the Fitzroy Catchment according to water use and management, people and groups and issues facing water management in the catchment. It drafts future directions and ways forward for water management, and forms part of the consultation process for the Department of Water’s regional planning activities.

Government Western Australian, 2009. Fitzroy Futures Town Plan. Government of Western Australia, Perth.

Griffiths, S. and Kinnane, S., 2010. Kimberley Aboriginal Caring for Country Plan – healthy country, healthy people. Report prepared for the Kimberley Language Resource Centre, Halls Creek.

This report has emerged from research and consultation with Kimberley Aboriginal people and offers an extensive review of caring for country in the region. A range of key themes were developed based upon consultation with Traditional Owners during the project, summarising the central aspects of successful caring for country activities, namely: Access to Country; Right People, Right Country; Transmission of Law, Culture and Language on Country; Respect for Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Knowledge; Managing Country; Economic Opportunities on Country; Governance on Country (PBCs), Cultural Blocs and Regional Aboriginal Organisations; Information Management for Country; Partnerships for Caring for Country; and Protocols for Caring for Country. Within each theme the key issues, threats and pressures are identified, and the plan thus provides specific and in-depth evidence to support the connection between caring for country and broad reaching cultural, spiritual, social, political, environmental and economic benefits for the region. The value of this report is the practical findings and recommendations for achieving benefits from caring for country, based upon extensive research, offering invaluable information to support the holistic benefits of caring for country.

Fordham, A., Fogarty, W. and Fordham, D., 2010. The Viability of Wildlife Enterprises in Remote Indigenous Communities of Australia: A Case Study, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper Working Paper No. 63/2010. The Australian National University, Canberra.

Haberkern, N., Bauman, T. and Robin, S., 2009. Queensland, Native Title Research Unit. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra.

HC Coombs Policy Forum, 2011. Synthesis of broad issues and opportunities: Document I, HC Coombs Policy Forum-Fenner School of Environment and Society NRM initiative. The Australian National University.

HC Coombs Policy Forum, 2011, NRM Literature Review: Document II, HC Coombs Policy Forum-Fenner School of Environment and Society NRM initiative, Australian National University.

This document emerged from a policy forum at the Australian National University

Hill, R. and Williams, L., 2009. Indigenous natural resource management: overcoming marginalisation produced in Australia’s current NRM model, in Contested Country, (eds) M. Lane, C. Robinson and B. Taylor. CSIRO, Collingwood, pp.161-178.

Hill and Williams examine the current system of natural resource management (NRM) in Australia and the inequitable distribution of funding for Indigenous communities, particularly for native title holders. The allocation of 3% of NRM funding to Indigenous communities and native title holders who hold responsibilities for 20% of the land mass is identified as a policy failure. They emphasize the need to work through the native title and land rights systems to not only avoid conflict in deliberative processes, but to support the anticipated benefits from the recognition of Indigenous native title and work towards a resolution of Indigenous environmental rights issues. They advocate for a separate stream of NRM funding being directed towards Indigenous engagement with a focus on Indigenous-specific planning, linking in with Indigenous Land Use Agreement’s and establishing an Indigenous NRM civil society. Indigenous NRM holds potential beyond conservation and land management to uplift Indigenous health and socio-economic disadvantage.

Hunt, J., Altman, J.C., and May, K., 2009. Social Benefits of Aboriginal Engagement in Natural Resource Management. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper Working Paper No. 60/2009, Australian National University, Canberra.

Hunt et al provide a comprehensive summary of the benefits from Aboriginal participation and engagement in natural resource management (NRM) based upon extensive studies in New South Wales. National and international literature is reviewed and contrasted with the findings from NSW and Hunt et al identify the significance of engaging with culturally relevant processes to ensure that participation and involvement in NRM can support Indigenous people’s perspective of caring for, or looking after, country. There are a range of barriers to linking the engagement in NRM with the benefits from caring for country, and a range of recommendations are outlined for improving these relationships based upon the research findings in NSW. A range of benefits are identified in the study, including: cultural benefits, social benefits, environmental benefits to the nation, savings to health costs, income and employment, spiritual benefits, economic benefits, capacity building benefits, Indigenous livelihoods and business development.

Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, 2010. Annual Report: 2009-2010, Kowanyama, Queensland.

Lane, M. and Williams, L., 2009. The Natural Heritage Trust and Indigenous Lands: the trials and tribulations of ‘new technologies of governance’. Australian Geographer, 40:1, 85-107.

May, K., 2010. Indigenous cultural and natural resource management and the emerging role of the Working on Country program. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research Working Paper No 65/2010, The Australian National University, Canberra.

May provides an assessment of Federal government investment in caring for country through the Working on Country program, providing analysis of the success of government programs to adequately match local needs and aspirations for land management. This paper provides a timely discussion on the practical facets of funding and investing in caring for country, evolving the caring for country research from a focus on linkages with benefits, to an analysis of connecting Indigenous aspirations for caring for country with government policy and investment. Government funding for caring for country is occurring in fragmented ways through complex system of grants, which does not offer a large degree of sustainability to programs or employment. May finds that in formalising systems of Indigenous cultural and natural resource management, there is a greater need from government to support community-driven development, and invest in unique opportunities for successfully alleviating Indigenous poverty.

Morrison, J., 2007. Caring for country in Jon Altman and Melinda Hinkson (eds) Coercive Reconciliation: Stabilise, Normalise, Exit Aboriginal Australia 249.

Morrison provides a comprehensive account of the specific ways in which caring for country supports positive outcomes for employment, economic development, community leadership, education and social and cultural justice. Caring for country offers a unique space for cultural transmission and regeneration, informing positive flow on effects for governance, identity, social and community cohesion, employment and health. However despite a strong interest in pursuing traditional caring for country activities, engaging Indigenous people in NRM programs that are recognised by the government and also reflect and inform policy is a significant challenge. The work opportunities that engage meaningfully with caring for country are unique in the way they enable: the strengthening of relationships with country and culture; allow a space for customary and social obligations to occur; increase the capacity for engagement and interaction with external societal structures and institutions; and foster the development of innovative ideas of economic development and wealth generation, including engagements with the mining and pastoral sectors.

O ’Donnell, M., 2011. Indigenous Rights in Water in northern Australia. John Toohey Chambers, Darwin, Northern Territory.

Northern Territory Government, 2008. Local Government Regional Management Plan: Big Rivers Region, Darwin.

This plan outlines the changing responsibilities for water management under the recent changes to local government in the Northern Territory through the establishment of shire councils.

Putnis, A., Josif, P. and Woodward, E., 2007. Healthy Country, Healthy People: Supporting Indigenous Engagement in the Sustainable Management of Northern Territory Land and Seas: A Strategic Framework. CSIRO: Darwin, 229 pages.

This report summarises a five year plan for investment in Indigenous land and sea management in the Northern Territory under the Healthy Country Healthy People Schedule, which aims to deliver better outcomes from investment in Indigenous land and sea management, particularly considering the impact of the Northern Territory Intervention and the demise of the Community Development Employment Program. Based on the profile of an established Indigenous land and sea management sector, with an emerging market for NRM activities, they argue that sector has potential to expand based on a growing interest in biodiversity preservation, an emerging sector of fee-for-service conservation work and the development of markets related to land and sea management activities.

Sinnamon, V., 2011. Kowanyama: Bottom of the Watershed. Kowanyama Aboriginal Land and Natural Resources Management Office, Kowanyama.

Viv Sinnamon, Manager of the Kowanyama Aboriginal Land and Natural Resources Management Office, outlines the history of Indigenous land management in Kowanyama.

Sithole, B. and Hunter-Xenie, H. with Williams, L., Saegenschnitter, L., Yibarbuk, D., Ryan, M., Campion, O., Yunupingu, B., Liddy, M., Watts, E., Daniels, C., Daniels, G., Christophersen, P., Cubillo, V., Phillips, E., Marika, W., Jackson D. and Barbour W., 2007. Aboriginal Land and Sea Management in the Top End: A community driven evaluation. CSIRO: Darwin.

According to Sithole et al., the culturally relevant processes required for success in Aboriginal land and water management programs include strong cultural connections, alignment with the aspirations of Traditional Owners, inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and involvement of the Elders.

WalterTurnbull, 2010. Working on Country: Evaluation Report (Final). Prepared for the Department of Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts, available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/Indigenous/workingoncountry/publications/pubs/woc-evaluation.pdf., accessed November 2011.

An evaluation report on Working for Country conducted by Walter Turnbull and published in 2010, found that feedback for the program was overwhelmingly positive. However they identified the key weaknesses of the program as: the vulnerability of caring for country activities without secure funding beyond 2013; an overt emphasis on employment, which overlooks the wider community benefits of caring for country and how these contribute to the objectives of Closing the Gap; the lack of funding for community engagement, which would allow rangers to achieve cultural legitimacy for their programs; a lack of funding for capacity building of the organisations which support the rangers, with a recognised need for investment in governance and administration needs; and a lack of flexibility within the program to allow for the type of activities that support caring for country, such as a limited availability of vehicles (Walter Turnbull, 2010: 2-5).

Western Australian Planning Commission, 2011. Bayulu Community Layout Plan 1 Amendment 1, prepared by the Department of Planning, Perth.

Worth, D., 2005. The Natural Heritage Trust and Indigenous engagement in natural resource management. National Native Title Tribunal, Perth.

This report is a summary of NRM funding streams under the Natural Heritage Trust, and lack of actual involvement or engagement with Indigenous people that occurred under these schemes. It is recognised that Indigenous people had little to no economic or political influence on the final regional investment plans.

1 http://www.nrm.gov.au/about/nrm/regions/index.html

2 http://www.nrm.gov.au/about/nrm/regions/wa.html

3 http://www.environment.gov.au/cleanenergyfuture/icff/index.html

4 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-08/daly-river-fishing-agreement-malak-malak/3877056?WT.mc_id=newsmail

5 http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/content/view/6558/2378/
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