TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

Science and knowledge that governments, communities, industries for sustainable use of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries

Indigenous people, rivers and water in north Australia: perspectives on an emerging research agenda, Coast 2 Coast Conference, Darwin 2008

TitleIndigenous people, rivers and water in north Australia: perspectives on an emerging research agenda, Coast 2 Coast Conference, Darwin 2008
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJackson, S, Altman, J, Morrison, J, Douglas, M
KeywordsPresentations
Abstract

Interest in Indigenous use of and association with water and rivers has grown rapidly in the last ten years as a result of environmental pressures, developments in native title and the potential implications of national water reforms for Indigenous rights and interests. For the first time, national water policy explicitly recognises the special character of Indigenous interests in water, albeit with limited recognition of potential commercial benefits. Yet Indigenous people outside research and policy circles remain largely unaware of the substantial changes to water management and policy and their interests continue to be construed narrowly. A perception that northern Australia has abundant water supplies, sufficient to possibly meet the commercial and urban needs of southern Australia, has spurred renewed interest in the prospects for agricultural development underpinned by water resource developments and water trading. However, the consequences of such development for Indigenous livelihoods and customary resource management systems, including water rights, ethics and values, have received little attention. This paper will provide an overview of the objectives and proposed activities proposed by two new north Australian research and policy initiatives. These are the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Research Hub (TRaCK) and the North Australian ‘Indigenous Water Policy Group’, hosted by the North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance. These initiatives seek to improve the understanding of the effects of water policy reforms on Indigenous people, ensure the inclusion of Indigenous uses and values in water allocation and management, and empower Indigenous people to participate in water research, planning processes and policy development.

Link to presentation:
http://www.coast2coast.org.au/PresentationPDFs/Jackson.pdf