Australian Indigenous insights into ecosystem services: beyond services towards connectedness – people, place and time

Stoeckl, Natalie, Jarvis, Diane, Larson, Silva, Larson, Anna, Grainger, Daniel, and Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation, (2021) Australian Indigenous insights into ecosystem services: beyond services towards connectedness – people, place and time. Ecosystem Services, 50. 101341.

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The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment focused attention on benefit flows from ecosystems to humans, although nowadays, ecosystem service (ES) researchers typically acknowledge reciprocal flows from humans to nature and there is growing recognition of the need to better incorporate insights from other cultures. We set out to do this, giving primacy to the voice of an Australian Aboriginal group during a workshop that developed an (Aboriginal) model of the nature-people relationship. ES were a component of the model, but the Aboriginal model was not ‘atomistic’ (with separable parcels of land, separable ES, or separable individuals who are not part of community); it focused primarily on connections between and within the human and natural systems. Temporal dimensions were considerably longer than those commonly considered by Western scientists, feelings and spirituality were central, and stewardship activities were highlighted as not only improving the environment but also directly improving wellbeing. Evidently, Country needs to be looked after the ‘right way’; it is not enough to simply account for the ES values that are generated or the stewardship activities that are undertaken (e.g. controlling weeds); one also needs to record how this is done (e.g. with respect) and by whom (e.g. traditional owners).

Item ID: 68768
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-0416
Keywords: ecosystem services; caring for country; Aboriginal Australian cultural connections to country; accounting for ecosystem service values; reciprocal norms and the people-nature relationship
Copyright Information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
Funders: National Environmental Science Programme (NESP), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: NESP Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub, ARC DP0984968
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2021 23:03
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3899 Other economics > 389902 Ecological economics @ 50%
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1599 Other economic framework > 159902 Ecological economics @ 50%
21 INDIGENOUS > 2104 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture > 210402 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to land and environment @ 50%
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