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Open Access Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 33(4)

Application of an integrated multidisciplinary economic welfare approach to improved wellbeing through Aboriginal caring for country

David Campbell

A Ninti One Ltd, PO Box 3971, Alice Springs, NT 0871, Australia.
B Centre for Remote Health, PO Box 4066, Alice Springs, NT 0871, Australia. Email: d.campbell@flinders.edu.au

The Rangeland Journal 33(4) 365-372 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RJ11025
Submitted: 3 May 2011  Accepted: 15 September 2011   Published: 17 November 2011


 
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Abstract

The lands held by Aboriginal people are mostly located in the Australian desert, aside from pastoral country purchased under the Indigenous Land Corporation, they are among the least amenable to agricultural production. Social expectations regarding land use are undergoing a multifunctional transition with a move away from a focus on production, to increased amenity and conservation uses. This change means that Aboriginal people with cultural connections to country enjoy an absolute advantage in managing country through their application of land care involving Indigenous ecological knowledge.

An integrated multidisciplinary economic welfare approach, based on data from northern Australia and the central Australian desert, is used to demonstrate the role Aboriginal people can play in caring for country. Such engagement can be to the advantage of Aboriginal people through a multiplicity of private and public good benefits, such as improving Aboriginal health, maintaining biodiversity, and the mitigation of climate change impacts through possible greenhouse gas biosequestration and the reduction of dust storms – which are an important vector of disease.

Additional keywords: closing the gap, desert, natural resource management, social determinants.


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