Indigenous land and sea management programs (ILSMPs) enhance the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians

Larson, Silva, Stoeckl, Natalie, Jarvis, Diane, Addison, Jane, Grainger, Daniel, Watkin Lui, Felecia, Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation, , Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, , Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, , and Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, (2020) Indigenous land and sea management programs (ILSMPs) enhance the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (1). 125.

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Conservation and environmental management have been reported as offering opportunities to substantially improve the wellbeing of Indigenous people. Using the holistic wellbeing impact evaluation (W-IE) approach—well suited for use in Indigenous communities—we interviewed 190 Indigenous Australians across four communities. All communities were involved in the Indigenous land and sea management programs (ILSMPs). Our study explored the conceptualisation of ‘wellbeing’ by participants. In particular, we were interested in the aspects of wellbeing perceived to be affected by ILSMPs. Out of the 26 wellbeing factors explored, ‘Health centres’; ‘Language’; ‘Schools’; and ‘Safe community’ emerged as being of highest importance to the largest percentage of the respondents. When grouped using principle components analysis (PCA), the ‘Community and society’ domain emerged as the most important; accounting for 52% of the overall importance of all wellbeing factors. The second most important domain was the ‘Country and culture’, contributing 31%. Lastly, ‘Economic aspects’ contributed only 17%. Respondents believed that ILSMPs have played a considerable causal role in improving wellbeing, by positively changing factors most important to them. Specifically, 73% of perceived causal links were related to improvements in the ‘Country and Culture’ and 23% to ‘Community and Society’ domain. We thus conclude that land management for Indigenous people is much more than ecological or environmental management with ILSMPs, perceived to cause a wide range of cultural and social benefits. We also propose ways in which the future design of such programs could be improved to further increase benefits.

Item ID: 61411
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1660-4601
Keywords: Indigenous land and sea management programs; wellbeing; impact evaluation; environment; country
Copyright Information: ©2019 by the authors.
Funders: Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub of Australia National Environment Science Program
Projects and Grants: Project 5-3
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 19:59
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 50%
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380119 Welfare economics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960699 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation not elsewhere classified @ 50%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919902 Ecological Economics @ 50%
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