6 December 2016
A Northern Hub project is increasing our knowledge of Indigenous values associated with the Fitzroy River in Western Australia.
The information generated through the project, being led by Griffith University’s Associate Professor Sue Jackson, will inform future water allocation and catchment planning.
“Aboriginal people have a long-standing and strong connection to the Fitzroy River. It forms an integral part of their way of life and is the foundation of various social and economic activities such as family interactions, ceremonies and hunting and gathering,” said Associate Professor Jackson.
“Native title has been recognised over many parts of the Fitzroy River catchment and this guarantees protection of rights to hunt, fish, and gather other foods and resources.”
“With increased interest in the expansion of irrigated agriculture in the catchment, these important values could be put at risk. Understanding how values could be impacted by increased development and incorporating new information into water planning rules, will reduce that risk.”
Dr Jackson, along with a team of researchers from the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University and the University of Western Australia, are working with Aboriginal communities to identify customary uses of water and waterways, reveal links between Indigenous values, practices and water regimes, and elicit knowledge, as well as objectives, for the future management of land and water resources.
Emphasis will also be placed on advancing the field of Indigenous water planning by trialling social assessment methods and showing the value of community participation in environmental flow assessments.
It’s anticipated that the information generated from this project will be used by the communities involved, Indigenous ranger groups, native title organisations, and state and federal government Natural Resource Management agencies.
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