Territory Stories

Processes for effective management: Learning from agencies and Warlpiri people involved in managing the Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area, Australia



Processes for effective management: Learning from agencies and Warlpiri people involved in managing the Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area, Australia


Walker, Jane


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Thesis (Ph.D.) - Charles Darwin University




Tanami Desert


"In this dissertation I address why equity between conservation and development agendas of Indigenous peoples and partnering agencies are hard to achieve. The overall aim is to contribute useful insights into where management practice can be enhanced to attain a better balance. This study takes place within an Australian desert context. Aboriginal landowners, in conjunction with the Federal Government’s Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) program, manage a large amount of land through the national protected area system in desert Australia. Through this research I aimed to study how to improve IPA management so as to reduce such gaps between intent and practice." - Abstract


A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The Northern Institute, Institute of Advanced Studies, Charles Darwin University, December 2010.

Table of contents

Abstract -- Introduction -- Australian protected areas and Aboriginal peoples: an environment of change -- Analytical and methodological framework -- Warlpiri people as land managers: perceptions and practice -- Warlpiri perspectives on the management of the Northern Tanami IPA -- Management agency interests and impressions of the Northern Tanami IPA -- Comparative experiences of IPA management -- Learning from the Northern Tanami IPA: Research findings and conclusions -- References -- Appendices 1-20.




Protected areas; Management; Natural resources; Conservation areas; Grassland ecology; Social life and customs

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Thesis (Ph.D.) - Charles Darwin University


xxi, 392 pages : colour illustrations, colour maps, tables

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145 them in the wild. This view is very different to the western land management perception of feral animals. More current research from central Australia is showing that views on some feral animals and their impacts are no longer homogeneous, but are changing amongst some Aboriginal people who are most involved in land management practices (Varzon-Morel 2010). Lastly, monitoring country was never identified by the women in the interviews as an activity. Perhaps this is because it is not explicitly seen as a separate land management activity, but is an essential element to be able to successfully carry out other activities to manage country. I did however observe and record in my field notes that the women monitored country on every country visit in which I was involved. For example, the women would discuss ownership and Dreaming of country, availability of plant and animal resources, relive past country visits, and discuss information about country passed on from other family members: We headed out at about 10.30am. We drove west along the road towards 28 Mile. Myra talked about how she had been to 28 Mile before, getting wood for coolamons, but no one really hunted in this area. Margaret had been told by Jangala (her husband) that the area had been burnt, and would be good to look around for goanna. Jangala used to work as a stockman and travelled along this road all the time138. This practice of monitoring and assessing country was even carried out when hunting. The women would walk close enough to talk to each other about what they were seeing and which direction to walk. Monitoring and assessing country in this way is a vital practice for determining where other management activities, such as hunting and burning, will occur in the future, and increasing peoples knowledge and familiarity with country. Such knowledge was always shared with family back in Lajamanu. Spatial and temporal use Throughout my fieldwork, the senior women directed where we would go and what we would do on country visits. The location and purpose of each country visit was 138 Field notes, 20 September 2006

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