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Background: Water Resource Management

 

The North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Managament Alliance Ltd. (NAILSMA) has been engaged in water management since 2006 when the Indigenous Water Policy Group (IWPG) was formed.

The engagement of Indigenous aspirations, issues and interests in water resource management in the north is based on the long term goal of sustainable management of water resources that provide for the health, cultural, social and economic well being of Indigenous communities.

The IWPG worked in parallel with the NAILSMA Indigenous Community Water Facilitator Network (ICWFN) (2007-11). The ICWFN acted as a vehicle to ensure that Indigenous interests at the community level are articulated, encouraged and incorporated into water policy decisions, planning and water allocation processes.

NAILSMA has engaged in various water related research agendas. NAILSMA is continuing to work with TRaCK Synthesis & Adoption Year (2011-12). A partnership with the Tropical River and Coastal Knowledge(TRaCK) was formed (2007-11) to develop a research program that ensured Indigenous aspirations were considered with respect to the national water reform agenda of the National Water Initiative. NAILSMA is also working with the federally funded Northern Australia Water Futures Assessment through its Cultural and Social Program (201-12). This program is aimed to improve understanding of community cultural, spiritual, recreational and economic values of northern Australia's water resources and aquatic ecosystems.

These partnerships, along with the IWPG, provide a strategic pathway for Indigenous participation in public policy formulation, and in the debate about northern waters through the integration of Indigenous knowledge with scientific and technical data. The knowledge gained through these programs will inform other agendas, such as the Indigenous Experts Forum on Sustainable Economic Development that directly informs the Northern Australian Ministerial Forum convened by the Department of Regional Australia and Development and Local Government to consider a future strategic northern framework.

The Water Resource Management Program also participates in and delivers forums, such as the International Water Experts Forum (2008), the North Australian Indigenous Experts Water Futures Forum (2009), a series of community water planning meetings (2011-12) and further Indigenous Experts Forums (2012-2013). Forums allow for experts to come together to share experiences, challenges and aspirations for Indigenous sustainable water resource management.

To date, NAILSMA has brought these initiatives together under its Water Resource Management Program to glean interests, debate direction and formulate ideas for research and policy. Though formally launched in March 2010, the NAILSMA Indigenous Water Policy Statement was issued in November 2009.

Want to know more?

Go to these pages:

Indigenous Water Policy Group (IWPG)

NAILSMA Indigenous Community Water Facilitator Network (ICWFN) (2007-11)

Research initiatives

NAILSMA Indigenous Water Policy Statement

North Australian Indigenous Experts Water Futures Forum (2009)

International Water Experts Forum (2008)

Indigenous Experts Forums (2012-2013)

Water Program Publications and Links

Go to other relevant websites:

TRaCK

Northern Australia Water Futures Assessment

Cultural and Social Program (2011 - 12)

Indigenous Experts Forum on Sustainable Economic Development