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Principles and Guidelines for Good Practice in Indigenous Engagement in Water Planning

TitlePrinciples and Guidelines for Good Practice in Indigenous Engagement in Water Planning
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsJackson, S, Tan, P-L, Mooney, C, Hoverman, S, White, I
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Start Page57
Date Published12/2012
Keywordsguidelines, indigenous engagement, principles, water planning

Indigenous rights, values and interests relating to water have been identified by Australia’s National Water Commission as a national priority area, requiring greater understanding, research attention and government action. Yet Indigenous water values are rarely addressed in water planning, despite objectives in national policy requiring Indigenous participation and the identification of Indigenous social, spiritual and customary values in water plans. Water planners are presently equipped with a very limited number of engagement tools tailored to the water resource management context to redress the historical neglect of Indigenous interests. In an Australian research project focused on water planning, seven participatory planning tools were employed in three Australian case studies with different social and hydrological characteristics to improve the way in which Indigenous values are elicited and incorporated and to enhance the status of Indigenous knowledge in water planning. The results from the two Murray Darling Basin (MDB) case studies reveal the many ways in which Indigenous values have been adversely affected by recent water resource developments and concomitant water scarcity. In the third case on the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory, where land title to the entire water planning area is vested in Indigenous traditional owners, methods were refined to ensure engagement and generate capacity to manage the development of a solely Indigenous-owned, first-generation Water Management Strategy, in collaboration with a range of stakeholders. This paper describes the needs and aspirations of Indigenous people, the engagement strategies employed to elicit Indigenous knowledge, assess Indigenous values, and incorporate the results into three developing water plans. In addition, it outlines a set of general principles to guide water planning in other regions and thereby to improve Indigenous access to water.

Refereed DesignationUnknown