Indigenous Cultural and Natural Resources Management and Mobility in Arnhem Land, Northern Australia
Many programmes formally engage Australian Indigenous people in land and sea management to provide environmental services. There are also many Indigenous people who ‘look after country’ without rewards or payment because of cultural obligations. We investigated how Indigenous peoples’ mobility in and around two communities (Maningrida and Ngukurr) is affected by their formal or informal engagement in cultural and natural resource management (CNRM). Understanding factors that influence peoples’ mobility is important if essential services are to be provided to communities efficiently. We found that those providing formal CNRM were significantly less likely to stay away from settlements than those ‘looking after their country’ without payment or reward. Paying Indigenous people to engage with markets for CNRM through carbon farming or payments for environmental services (PES) schemes may alter traditional activities and reduce mobility, particularly movements away from communities that extend the time spent overnight on country. This could have both environmental and social consequences that could be managed through greater opportunities for people to engage in formal CNRM while living away from communities and greater recognition of the centrality of culture to all Indigenous CNRM, formal or otherwise.
KeywordsCultural obligations Fire management Land and sea management Payments for Environmental Services (PES) Pest control Temporary movements Arnhem Land Northern Australia
- Altman, J. C. (2003). People on Country, Healthy Landscapes and Sustainable Indigenous Economic Futures: The Arnhem Land Case. The Drawing Board: An Australian Review of Public Affairs 4: 65–82.Google Scholar
- Altman, J. C., and Whitehead, P. J. (2003). Caring for Country and Sustainable Indigenous Development: Opportunities, Constraints and Innovation. CAEPR Working Paper No. 20, CAEPR, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.Google Scholar
- Australian Government (2013). Carbon Farming (Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Early Dry Season Savanna Burning) Methodology Determination 2012, Office of Parliamentary Counsel, Canberra, Australia, http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2012L01499. Accessed 21 Nov 2013.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006). Usual Place of Residence: 2006 Census. Canberra, Australia.Google Scholar
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010). Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, Jun 2010, Canberra, Australia, http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3201.0. Accessed 21 Nov 2013.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011). 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Canberra, Australia.Google Scholar
- Department of Community Services (2013). Major remote towns - Properly planned and designed towns. Northern Territory Government, Darwin. http://www.drdia.nt.gov.au/about_us/regional_services/major_remote_towns. Accessed 21 Nov 2013.
- Department of Social Services (2013). Priority communities. Australian Government, Canberra. http://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/indigenous-australians/programs-services/remote-service-delivery/priority-communities. Accessed 21 Nov 2013.
- Department of the Environment (2013). New indigenous ranger positions for the Northern Territory. Media release 16 May 2012, Australian Government, Canberra, http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/archive/burke/2012/mr20120516.html. Accessed 21 Nov 2013.
- Fuller, D., and Parker, L. (2002). Indigenous Economic Development in Northern Australia: Opportunities and Constraints. Central Queensland University Press, Rockhampton.Google Scholar
- Gagnon, C. A., and Berteaux, D. (2009). Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Ecological Science: A Question of Scale. Ecology and Society 14(2): 19. online.Google Scholar
- Garnett, S. T., and Sithole, B. (2007). Sustainable Northern Landscapes and the Nexus with Indigenous Health: Healthy Country Healthy People. Land and Water Australia, Canberra.Google Scholar
- Garnett, S. T., Sayer, J., and du Toit, J. (2007). Improving the Effectiveness of Interventions to Balance Conservation and Development: a Conceptual Framework. Ecology and Society 12(1): 2. online.Google Scholar
- Garnett, S. T., Sithole, B., Whitehead, P., Burgess, P., Johnstone, F., and Lea, T. (2009a). Healthy Country, Healthy People: Policy Implications of Links Between Indigenous Human Health and Environmental Condition in Tropical Australia. The Australian Journal of Public Administration 68: 53–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Head, L. (1994). Landscapes Socialised by Fire: Post-contact Changes in Aboriginal Fire Use in Northern Australia, and Implications for Prehistory. Archaeology in Oceania 29: 172–181.Google Scholar
- Kainz, T., Carson, D. A., and Carson, D. B. (2012). Temporary Indigenous Mobility in Remote South Australia: Understanding the Challenges for Urban Based Health and Social Service Delivery. Journal of Rural and Community Development 7: 16–36.Google Scholar
- Lyver, P. O. B., Jones, C. J., and Doherty, J. (2009). Flavor or Forethought: Tuhoe Traditional Management Strategies for the Conservation of Kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae) in New Zealand. Ecology and Society 14(1): 40. online.Google Scholar
- Morphy, F. (2010). (Im)mobility: Regional Population Structures in Aboriginal Australia. Australian Journal of Social Issues 45: 363–382.Google Scholar
- Northern Land Council (2004). Environmental Management Status Reports for Aboriginal Lands in the Northern Land Council Region, Northern Land Council, Darwin.Google Scholar
- Povinelli, E. (1993). Labor’s Lot: The Power, History, and Culture of Aboriginal Action. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
- Prober, S. M., O’Connor, M. H., and Walsh, F. J. (2011). Australian Aboriginal Peoples’ Seasonal Knowledge: A Potential Basis for Shared Understanding in Environmental Management. Ecology and Society 16(2): 12. online.Google Scholar
- Prout, S. (2008). On the Move? Indigenous Temporary Mobility Practices in Australia. CAEPR Working paper No. 48. Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.Google Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2011). R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna.Google Scholar
- Ranzijn, R., McConnochie, K., and Nolan, W. (2009). Psychology and Indigenous Australians: Foundations of Cultural Competence. Palgrave Macmillan, South Yarras.Google Scholar
- Rose, D. (1992). Dingo Makes Us Human: Life and Land in an Australian Aboriginal Culture. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Scott, J. (1998). Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition have Failed. Yale University Press, New Haven.Google Scholar
- Taylor, A. (2011). Current Evidence of ‘Female Flight’ from Remote Northern Territory Aboriginal Communities: Demographic and Policy Implications. Migration Letters 8: 77–88.Google Scholar
- Taylor, A., and Carson, D. (2009). Indigenous Mobility and the Northern Territory Emergency Response. People and Place 17: 29–38.Google Scholar
- Taylor, A., and Dunn, B. (2010). Conceptualising and Measuring Indigenous Student Mobility in the Northern Territory. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education 39: 88–97.Google Scholar
- Tomioka Nilsson, M.S., and Fearnside, P.M. (2011). Yanomami mobility and its effects on the forest landscape. Human Ecology 39: 235–256.Google Scholar
- Whitehead, P. J., Purdon, P., Cooke, P. M., Russell-Smith, J., and Sutton, S. (2009). The west Arnhem Land fire abatement (WALFA) project: The institutional environment and its implications. In Russell- Smith, J., Whitehead, P. J., and Cooke, P. M. (eds.), Culture, Ecology and Economy of Fire Management in North Australian Savannas: Rekindling the Wurrk Tradition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, pp. 287–312.Google Scholar
- Wohling, M. (2009). The Problem of Scale in Indigenous Knowledge: A Perspective from Northern Australia. Ecology and Society 14(1): 1. online.Google Scholar
- Woinarski, J. C. Z., and Traill, B. (2007). The Nature of Northern Australia: Natural Values, Ecological Processes and Future Prospects. Australian National University E Press, Canberra.Google Scholar
- World Alliance on Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP) (2004). World Alliance on Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP)—Briefing notes on mobile peoples & conservation. Version 2, September 2004. http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/wamip_briefing_notes_fall_2004_1.pdf. Accessed 21 Nov 2013.
- Yibarbuk, D., Whitehead, P. J., Russell-Smith, J., Jackson, D., Godjuwa, C., Fisher, A., Cooke, P., Choquenot, D., and Bowman, D. M. J. S. (2001). Fire Ecology and Aboriginal Land Management in Central Arnhem Land, Northern Australia: A Tradition of Ecosystem Management. Journal of Biogeography 28: 325–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zander, K. K. (2013). Understanding Public Support for Indigenous Natural Resource Management in Northern Australia. Ecology & Society 18(1): 11. online.Google Scholar