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Preliminary Study on Indigenous Water Values and Interests in the Katherine Region of NT

Author:  NAILSMA CSIRO Cooper D Jackson S.
Publication Type: 
Publication Date: 
2008
Preliminary Study on Indigenous Water Values and Interests in the Katherine Region of NT
This report,  Preliminary Study on Indigenous Water Values and Interests in the Katherine Region of NT, was prepared for NAILSMA's Indigenous Water Policy Group (IWPG).

The NAILSMA Indigenous Water Policy Group project aims to articulate the least known aspects of water policy particularly relevant to north Australia’s Indigenous population i.e. issues relating to property rights, use and management by Indigenous people.

General research areas were proposed in the original funding application to Land & Water Australia (LWA) in 2005 and included:

  1. institutional frameworks that embrace the articulation between Western water resource law and policy and customary water use, rules and norms
  2. mechanisms to enhance the participation of Indigenous people in multi-stakeholder and collaborative water management structures and processes including methods to evaluate and bench-mark Indigenous participation
  3. barriers to the incorporation of Indigenous values, rights and responsibilities in water (e.g. Indigenous institutional capacity, and
  4. identification of potential incentives to overcome barriers (e.g. land and possible water use agreements, conflict resolution)

The funding application to LWA noted that these were preliminary suggestions that would require further input from the Indigenous Water Policy Group and refinement in the early stages of the project. At its first meeting in November 2006, the IWPG confirmed the suitability of these general topics to be examined through brief case studies, desk top reviews and through interaction with Land Councils and other relevant Indigenous organisations.

This report on Katherine Indigenous water interests describes the results of one of the four case studies undertaken during 2007, each with different emphases. Other case study locations are Maningrida (NT), Gulf of Carpentaria (QLD) and the Ord River (WA).

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