The Rangeland Journal The Rangeland Journal Society
Rangeland ecology and management
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Applying the sustainable livelihoods approach in Australian desert Aboriginal development

Jocelyn Davies A D , Janelle White B , Alyson Wright C , Yiheyis Maru A and Michael LaFlamme A

A CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, PO Box 2111, Alice Springs, NT 0871, Australia.

B Centre for Rural Health and Community Development, University of South Australia, Nicolson Avenue, Whyalla Norrie, SA 5608, Australia.

C Centre for Appropriate Technology, 32 Priest St, Alice Springs, NT 0870, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: jocelyn.davies@csiro.au

The Rangeland Journal 30(1) 55-65 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RJ07038
Submitted: 8 June 2007  Accepted: 27 November 2007   Published: 1 April 2008

Abstract

The sustainable livelihoods approach is widely used in rural development internationally but has been little applied in Australia. It is a framework for thinking and communicating about factors that impact on the livelihoods of individuals and families including their health, well being and income and the maintenance of natural resource condition. The approach aims to promote a systemic understanding of how multiple variables impact on local people’s livelihoods. Three case studies are outlined, that highlight its potential as a tool for collaborative engagement of researchers, local people and other stakeholders, to promote sustainability of Aboriginal livelihood systems in remote desert Australia and to contribute to improved understanding of the dynamics of regional socio-ecological systems.

Additional keywords: assets, disadvantage, indigenous, institutions, native food, vulnerability.


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