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Incentives and constraints to Indigenous engagement in water management

Escott, Hannah, Beavis, Sara G. and Reeves, Alison (2015). Incentives and constraints to Indigenous engagement in water management. Land Use Policy,49(December):382-393.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 83393865xPUB231
Title Incentives and constraints to Indigenous engagement in water management
Author Escott, Hannah
Beavis, Sara G.
Reeves, Alison
Journal Name Land Use Policy
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 49
Issue Number December
ISSN 0264-8377   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84940648314
Start Page 382
End Page 393
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Field of Research ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Until very recently, water policy and management has not included Indigenous knowledge, despite its relevance to sustainability. However, the Australian government, through the National Water Commission (NWC), started to recognise that effective and sustainable water management can be enhanced by integrating scientific and traditional knowledge, by encouraging Indigenous engagement. The National Water Commission’s 2009 biennial assessments found that most jurisdictions in Australia did not have in place effective Indigenous engagement in water management. In 2012 the First Peoples’ Water Engagement Council found this was still the case. This paper investigates what inhibits the process of knowledge sharing for water management and uses a case study from the Macleay River catchment in northern New South Wales to elucidate both the salient constraints and incentives on Indigenous engagement in water resources management. Primary data were sourced via 18 semi-structured interviews with key members of the Kempsey Shire community, researchers and relevant people working in water governance. The study found several constraints including socio-economic limitations, lack of capacity to engage, restrictions through various levels of engagement, how culturally appropriate engagement practices are, and ineffective leadership from all tiers of government. Submissions to the Standing Committee on Environment and Communications Inquiry into the National Water Commission (Abolition) Bill 2014 also identified these constraints. These limitations interact and cannot be considered separately. The incentives to engagement included: the value of Indigenous knowledge for sustainable water management; participants’ incentives as genuine interest in water; a desire to use and value cultural insights; and, opportunities for improved educational and employment outcomes.
Keywords Water resources management
Indigenous knowledge
Public participation
Engagement
National Water Initiative
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.08.003   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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