Business on Country
The Business on Country Framework has emerged from collaborative work with The Nature Conservancy on their Development by Design Model, recognising the pressures on environmental assets from the resource sector boom and the lack of strategic planning tools that can balance resource extraction with biodiversity conservation at landscape or bioregional scale. DbD looks at whole landscapes and seascapes and assesses the collective impacts of all large developments like mining, energy and infrastructure projects, taking place now and in the future. The aim is for conservation outcomes from purposeful, strategic development which avoid sensitive areas, minimise damage to wildlife habitat and ecosystems, offset unavoidable damage by restoring and protecting environmental values elsewhere.
The Business on Country Framework uses this strategic information and planning foundation to help Traditional Owners be better informed about the opportunities and likely impacts of specific development on their country and to assist them, armed with better free prior and informed decision making (FPIC) capacity, to make decisions about development proposals they may be asked to consider (eg under ALR(NT)A or through Native Title consultation provisions). It also arms TOs with information to act on the ‘front foot’, to invite development on their own terms and to manage their own enterprise activities. The Business on Country framework will potentially play an important part in connecting Indigenous land managers for example to the delivery of environmental offsets.