Indigenous biocultural knowledge in ecosystem science and management: Review and insight from Australia

Indigenous biocultural knowledge in ecosystem science and management: Review and insight from Australia Report

  • Author(s): Emilie J. Ens, Petina Pert, Marita Budden, Philip A. Clarke, Lilian Clubb, Bruce Doran, Cheryl Douras, Jitendra Gaikwad, Beth Gott, Sonia Leonard, John Locke, Joanne Packer, Gerry Turpin, Marilyn Wallace, Peter Wallace, Steve Wason
  • Published: 2014
  • Publisher: Indigenous Biocultural Knowledge working group of Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS)

Abstract: Worldwide, environmental conservation directives are mandating greater inclusion of Indigenous People and their knowledge in the management of global ecosystems. Colonised countries such as the United States of America and Australia have responded with an array of policy and programs to enhance Indigenous involvement; however, balancing Indigenous and non-Indigenous priorities and preferred methods is a substantial challenge and much progress has been ad hoc. Using Australia as a case study, we argue that with more strategic direction to enhance the recognition of Indigenous People and their knowledge, ecosystem science and management could greatly benefit. Focussing on the terrestrial environment, this innovative review paper aims to increase broader uptake of Indigenous biocultural knowledge (IBK) by conducting a spatial, temporal and content analysis of publically available, documented IBK materials. A spatial analysis of the place-based resources identified Australian IBK hotspots, gaps and opportunities for further collaboration. A temporal analysis of IBK material showed exponential growth in documented IBK material since the 1970’s.Indigenous authorship remained negligible until the 1990’s. Working through Australia’s ecosystem science priorities, we demonstrate how IBK has and can be used to inform research and management of fire, threatened species, invasive species, aquatic ecosystems and climate change. Lastly, we synthesise documented suggestions for overcoming cross-cultural awareness and communication challenges between Indigenous people and biologists, environmental managers and policy makers. Overcoming these challenges through development of inclusive strategies geared towards building socio-ecological resilience will guide more informed and sustainable management of global biocultural resources.

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Emilie J. Ens, Petina Pert, Marita Budden, Philip A. Clarke, Lilian Clubb, Bruce Doran, Cheryl Douras, Jitendra Gaikwad, Beth Gott, Sonia Leonard, John Locke, Joanne Packer, Gerry Turpin, Marilyn Wallace, Peter Wallace, Steve Wason, 2014, Indigenous biocultural knowledge in ecosystem science and management: Review and insight from Australia, Report, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2970.

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