Policy Sciences

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 109–123 | Cite as

The role of the Yorta Yorta people in clarifying the common interest in sustainable management of the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia

  • Amanda H. Lynch
  • David Griggs
  • Lee Joachim
  • Jackie Walker
Article

Abstract

The Murray–Darling Basin incorporates Australia’s three longest rivers and spans four states and one territory. It is important for an agricultural industry worth more than AUS$9 billion per year, but is also the life source and the spirit of the Indigenous Yorta Yorta people. Here, we address whether the interests of the Yorta Yorta people can encompass the common interest of the wider community in the Basin, and how the colonial legacy and climate change of the past century continue to influence the realization of the common interest moving forward. We find that shared regional governance with an agreed outcome supports the ongoing sustainability of the country and its people, but because of the legal history of Australia since colonization, recognition and mutual respect are no less important. Further, we note that the increasing climatic variability and changing climatic mechanisms that now exemplify the southeast of Australia corroborates the need for adaptive planning with longer time horizons. These lessons are supported by the customary law and practice of the Yorta Yorta people.

Keywords

Indigenous knowledge Problem definition Common interest 

References

  1. Asch, M., & Macklem, P. (1991). Aboriginal rights and Canadian sovereignty: An essay on R v. Sparrow. Alberta Law Review, 29, 498–511.Google Scholar
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010b) Water account Australia 2008–09, Catalogue 4610.0. ABS, Canberra.Google Scholar
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2010a) Australian Bureau of Statistics 1310.0 Year Book of Australia, 2009–10. (Expanded online version accessed from http://www.abs.gov.au).
  4. Baldassare, M., & Katz, C. (1992). The personal threat of environmental-problems as predictor of environmental practices. Environment and Behavior, 24, 602–616. doi:10.1177/0013916592245002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ballinger, A., Mac, Nally. R., & Lake, P. S. (2005). Immediate and longer-term effects of managed flooding on floodplain invertebrate assemblages in south-eastern Australia: generation and maintenance of a mosaic landscape. Freshwater Biology, 50, 1190–1205. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2005.01391.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barnett, T. P., Pierce, D. W., AchutaRao, K. M., Gleckler, P. J., Santer, B. D., Gregory, J. M., et al. (2005). Penetration of human-induced warming into the World’s Oceans. Science, 309, 284–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Beckford, C. L., Jacobs, C., Williams, N., & Nahdee, R. (2010). Aboriginal environmental wisdom, stewardship, and sustainability: Lessons from the Walpole Island First Nations, Ontario, Canada. Journal of Environmental Education, 41, 239–248. doi:10.1080/00958961003676314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beesley, L. S., Howard, K. M., Joachim, L., & King, A. J. (2010). Cultural conservation of freshwater turtles in Barmah-Millewa forest. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical Report Series No. 203, Department of Sustainability and the Environment, Government of Victoria. 42 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Bess, R. (2011). New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi and the doctrine of discovery: Implications for the foreshore and seabed. Marine Policy, 35, 85–94. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2010.08.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Broome, R. (2005). Aboriginal victorians. A history since 1800. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin. 467 pp.Google Scholar
  11. Brunne, R., D., & Lynch, A. H. (2010) Adaptive governance and climate change. AMS Press. 424 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Cai, W., & Cowan, T. (2008). Dynamics of late autumn rainfall reduction over southeastern Australia. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L09708. doi:10.1029/2008GL033727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark, I. (1990) Aboriginal languages and clans: An historical atlas of western and central Victoria 1800–1900. Monash Publications in Geography, no 37. 243 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Clark, S. G. (2008). Ensuring greater yellowstone’s future: Choices for leaders and citizens. New Haven: Yale University Press. 303 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Connell, D. (2007). Water Politics in the Murray-Darling Basin. Sydney: The Federation Press.Google Scholar
  16. CSIRO, 2011: South Eastern Australian climate initiative program annual report 2010/11. CSIRO, Australia.Google Scholar
  17. de Groot, J. I. M., & Steg, L. (2008). Value orientations to explain beliefs related to environmental significant behavior: How to measure egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric value orientations. Environment and Behavior, 40, 330–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dei, G. (1993). Sustainable development in the African context: Revisiting some theoretical and methodological issues. African Development, 18(2), 97–110.Google Scholar
  19. Denzin, N. K. (2012). Triangulation 2.0. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 6, 80–88. doi:10.1177/1558689812437186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2011) Murray Darling Basin. http://www.environment.gov.au/water/locations/murray-darling-basin/index.html updated 14 September 2011, accessed 19 September 2011.
  21. Grafton, R. Q., & Qiang, J. (2011). Economic effects of water recovery on irrigated agriculture in the Murray-Darling Basin. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 55, 487–499. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8489.2011.00545.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hansen, D. O., & Erbaugh, J. M. (1987). The social dimension of natural resources management. In D. D. Southgate & J. F. Disinger (Eds.), Sustainable resources development in then Third World (pp. 81–94). Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  23. Karp, D. G. (1996). Values and their effect on pro-environmental behavior. Environment and Behavior, 28, 111–133. doi:10.1177/0013916596281006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kingsford, R. T., Brandis, K., Thomas, R. F., Crighton, P., Knowles, E., & Gale, E. (2004). Classifying landform at broad spatial scales: The distribution and conservation of wetlands in New south wales, Australia. Marine and freshwater research, 55(1):17–31.Google Scholar
  25. Kreutzwiser, R., de Loe, R., Imgrund, K., Conboy, M. J., Simpson, H., & Plummer, R. (2011). Understanding stewardship behaviour: Factors facilitating and constraining private water well stewardship. Journal of Environmental Management., 92, 1104–1114. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2010.11.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lasswell, H. D., & Kaplan, A. (1950). Power and society: A framework for political inquiry. New Haven: Yale University Press. 295 pp.Google Scholar
  27. MacNally, R., Cunningham, S. C., Baker, P. J., Horner, G. J., & Thomson, J. R. (2011) Dynamics of Murray-Darling floodplain forests under multiple stressors: The past, present, and future of an Australian icon. Water Resources Research 47:W00G05. doi:10.1029/2011WR010383.
  28. Murray–Darling Basin Authority (2011) Murray Darling Basin Draft Plan, 2011. Accessed from http://www.mdba.gov.au/draft-basin-plan on 5 December 2011. (Commonwealth of Australia), MDBA publication no: 192/11, ISBN (print): 978-1-921783-18-0, 210 pp.
  29. National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology (2011) Frequent heavy rain events in late 2010/early 2011 lead to widespread flooding across eastern Australia. Special Climate Statement 24.Google Scholar
  30. Nicholls, N. (2004). The changing nature of Australian droughts. Climatic Change, 63, 323–336. doi:10.1023/B:CLIM.0000018515.46344.6d.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Norton, B. (2002) The ignorance argument: What must we know to be fair to the future. In Bromley and Paavalo (Eds.) Economics, ethics, and environmental policy: Contested choices (pp 35–52). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  32. Overton, I. C., & Saintilan, N. (eds) (2010). Ecosystem response modeling in the murray-darling basin. Melbourne: CSIRO. 427 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Potter, N. J., Chiew, F. S., & Frost, A. J. (2010). An assessment of the severity of recent reductions in rainfall and runoff in the Murray-Darling Basin. Journal of Hydrology, 381, 52–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Raymond, C. M., & Brown, G. (2011). Assessing conservation opportunity on private land: Socio-economic, behavioral, and spatial dimensions. Journal of Environmental Management, 92, 2513–2523. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.05.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reynolds, H. 1992: The Law of the Land 3–4 (2nd ed).Google Scholar
  36. Ross, A., Sherman, R., Snodgrass, J. G., & Delcore, H. D. (2010). Indigenous peoples and the collaborative stewardship of nature: Knowledge binds and institutional conflicts. CA, USA: Left Coast Press. 304 pp.Google Scholar
  37. Solow, R. M. (1993). Sustainability: An economists perspective. In R. Dorfman & N. Dorfman (Eds.), Economics of the environment: Selected readings (pp. 179–187). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  38. Stanner, W. E. H. (1989) (1963) On Aboriginal religion. University of Sydney, Sydney.Google Scholar
  39. Stratford, E., Mazur, N., Lunney, D., & Bennett, D. (2000). Managing the koala problem: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Conservation Biology, 14, 610–618. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.99382.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Strelein, L. (2005). From Mabo to Yorta Yorta: Native Title Law in Australia. Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, 19, 225–272.Google Scholar
  41. Strelein, L. (2009) Compromised jurisprudence: Native title cases since Mabo. Canberra ACT, Australia: Aboriginal Studies Press).Google Scholar
  42. Timbal, B. (2009) The continuing decline in south-east Australian rainfall: Update to May 2009. CAWCR Research Letters, 2, 4–10.Google Scholar
  43. Ummenhofer, C. C., England, M. H., McIntosh, P. C., Meyers, G. A., Pook, M. J., Risbeym, J. S., et al. (2009). What causes southeast Australia’s worst droughts? Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L04706. doi:10.1029/2008GL036801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vanek, E. (1989) Enhancing resource management in developing nations through improved attitudes towards indigenous knowledge systems: The case of the World Bank. In D. M. Warren, L. J. Slikkerveer and S. O. Titiilola (Eds.) Indigenous knowledge systems: Implications for agricultural and international development, studies in technology and social change, No. 11 (pp 162–170). Iowa: Iowa State University.Google Scholar
  45. Warren, D. M. (1991). Using indigenous knowledge in agricultural development. World Bank Discussion Paper No. 127. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank. 46pp.Google Scholar
  46. Weiss, J. A. (1989). The powers of problem definition: The case of government paperwork. Policy Sciences, 22, 97–121.Google Scholar
  47. Williams, J. (2011) Understanding the Basin and its dynamics. In D. Connell and R.Gq. Grafton (Eds.)Basin Futures: Water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin. Canberra: ANU E Press. 477 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda H. Lynch
    • 1
  • David Griggs
    • 2
  • Lee Joachim
    • 3
  • Jackie Walker
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Change Initiative, Department of Geological SciencesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Monash Sustainability InstituteMonash UniversityVICAustralia
  3. 3.Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal CorporationSheppartonAustralia

Personalised recommendations