Abstract: This report examines the current status of intellectual property laws as they relate to natural resource management and ‘Indigenous Ecological Knowledge’ (IEK) in the Northern Territory. Indigenous people have been managing the natural resources of the NT for many generations. The changes brought about by European settlement over the past century have been immense. Removal from land, government regulation and changes to lifestyles has greatly affected Indigenous involvement in the management of the NT’s natural resources. Increasingly, Indigenous people are being consulted and involved in natural resource management in the NT as the broader community gains an appreciation of the depth of knowledge held by Indigenous people about the land and its resources. Participation by Indigenous people and the use of IEK in natural resource management has the potential to provide substantial beneficial outcomes for all involved. That said it is essential that IEK is treated with respect and care, given the sensitive nature of much of the knowledge concerned. Indigenous ecological knowledge is used in Natural Resource Management in the Northern Territory (NT) in a variety of projects relating to land management including caring for our country, National Parks and Wildlife projects, recording of cultural knowledge of plants and animals, bioprospecting by pharmaceutical companies and university research projects.
Notes: Commissioned by the Natural Resource Management Board (NT)