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Nyul Nyul freshwater management and monitoring plan

Dobbs, Rebecca J., Davies, Christy L., Pettit, Neil, Pusey, Brad, Walker, Michelle and Tingle, Fiona (2015). Nyul Nyul freshwater management and monitoring plan<br />. Darwin, NT: Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Research Report
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Author Dobbs, Rebecca J.
Davies, Christy L.
Pettit, Neil
Pusey, Brad
Walker, Michelle
Tingle, Fiona
Title of Report Nyul Nyul freshwater management and monitoring plan
Publication Date 2015
ISBN 978-1-925167-34-4   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Publisher Charles Darwin University
Place of Publication Darwin, NT
Total Pages 56
Field of Research 300800 Environmental Sciences
Abstract The background story for this plan

Through funding from the Northern Australia Hub of the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) and the Hermon Slade foundation, researchers from the University of Western Australia (UWA), Griffith University, and I-Tracker staff from the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA) have been working with the Nyul Nyul Rangers to study the freshwater wetlands on Nyul Nyul country.

Freshwater springs and billabongs are central to the life of the Nyul Nyul people of the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Through the Kimberley Land Council’s (KLC) Ranger Network, the Nyul Nyul Rangers are employed to manage their country.

“We manage our land and sea. We work with our Traditional Owners. We protect our
cultural sites and heritage. We maintain our springs and coastline”
Nyul Nyul Rangers

During training undertaken with the NAILSMA I-Tracker team and through the UWA Waterways Education Program (WEP), the Rangers expressed an interest in obtaining support for freshwater research. In the absence of a freshwater management plan, the rangers wanted to better understand, manage and monitor freshwater on Nyul Nyul country.

“If we look after our freshwater it will still be there for future generations to learn
about the Nyul Nyul knowledge and scientific understanding of those freshwater places.
Then they will also have the knowledge to tell other people.”
Zynal Cox (Nyul Nyul Ranger)

This project provided the opportunity for Nyul Nyul Rangers to introduce the research team to these freshwater systems. The partnership approach combined scientific sampling with Nyul Nyul Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK) gathered during the project to provide a broader understanding of the biodiversity and pressures/threats to these systems. Collaboration and sharing of knowledge resulted in a management plan that incorporates natural, cultural and social values, and recommends using both western science and traditional techniques and knowledge for managing freshwater ecosystems.

This management plan, developed by the project team, summarises the activities and the data/ information collected with the Nyul Nyul Rangers, providing an overview of the different freshwater habitats on country, as well as recommendations for the local on-ground monitoring and management of these waterways. The plan will assist in guiding the Rangers’ on-ground activities to manage existing and potential threats, with the aim of protecting and, where required, improving the ecological health of Nyul Nyul wetlands. The monitoring program provided will also help the Rangers to better assess changes to the health of freshwater habitats in response to their on-ground land management practices.

“Water is the lifeline of our country, Nyul Nyul country, and everybody knows that. It’s
not only good drinking water but also a part of our culture and heritage. This is one of
the luckiest countries I know. If we look after the land and water it’s going to look after
us back.”
Preston Cox (Nyul Nyul Ranger)
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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