Looking back to look forward: a timeline of the Fitzroy River catchment. Report to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Álvarez-Romero, Jorge, Kiatkoski Kim, Milena, Buissereth, Rachel, Pressey, Robert L., Panell, David, Douglas, Michael M., and Spencer-Cotton, Alaya (2021) Looking back to look forward: a timeline of the Fitzroy River catchment. Report to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Report. James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.25903/hq6b-kk36
 
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Abstract

Given proposed expansion of developments in northern Australia and current tensions among different interest groups, there is a need to develop new planning approaches that support multiple uses of land and water, while maintaining environmental and cultural values. Our project aimed to demonstrate how to operationalise multi-objective catchment planning supported by scenario thinking, by which stakeholders collaboratively build and assess the outcomes of alternative development futures. The project used participatory scenario planning to guide stakeholders through a systematic and critical examination of possible development trajectories and their associated environmental and socioeconomic outcomes. A multi-stakeholder group worked through a series of workshops to explore alternative development pathways and their outcomes.

On July 10-11, NESP researchers led the first project workshop, gathering 40 people from 26 organisations across all main interest groups, including the federal Department of the Environment and Energy, state agencies, local governments, mining, agriculture and tourism organisations, environmental NGOs, and Aboriginal organisations representing the views and interests of Traditional Owners. The workshop involved a series of activities for team members to get to know each other, strengthen relationships, and build trust – all critical elements of participatory scenario planning. During the workshop, we discussed the meaning of development, driving forces of land use change, and development initiatives proposed for the region.

An important goal of the first workshop was to create shared understandings of what is happening in the region that could shape the future development of the catchment. Therefore, before exploring the future, we looked back into the past. We created a timeline for the Fitzroy, identifying the events and forces that have shaped how the catchment looks today and could drive land use change in the future. Such events included social movements, policy changes, resource exploration, early irrigation projects, road improvements, and the proclamation of the Native Title Act that recognizes the rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in land and waters according to their traditional laws and customs, among many others.

This report summarises the process underpinning the creation of a timeline of the Fitzroy River catchment. For this timeline, the group identified the things that have changed the region and shaped the way things are today. Building this timeline helped participants to understand and share ideas about driving forces of land-use change. This activity opened up thinking on how local and external events and processes have shaped and will continue to change the region. The Story Map referred to in this report (Looking back to look forward: A timeline of the Fitzroy River catchment) was created based on the timeline. The online application combines text, images, and maps to describe a series of key events that have shaped the Fitzroy catchment.

Item ID: 68184
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: NESP; Northern Australia; Western Australia; Kimberley region; Fitzroy River catchment; development scenarios; scenario planning; driving forces; drivers of development; drivers of land-use change; Native Title; pastoral; agriculture; mining; development
Copyright Information: © James Cook University, 2021. Licensed by James Cook University for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial licence. For licence conditions see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Additional Information:

The Story Map application can be accessed at: https://arcg.is/1jXi9P; use Google Chrome browser for better results.

Funders: Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub of Australia National Environment Science Program
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2021 05:05
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 25%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430302 Australian history @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430307 Environmental history @ 25%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180603 Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use @ 25%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280111 Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences @ 25%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280113 Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology @ 50%
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