Addressing the Challenges of Diverse Knowledge Systems through Landscape Analysis: A Case Study in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

Friday, 19 December 2014
Amanda H Lynch, Brown University, Providence, RI, United States, David Griggs, Monash University, Monash Sustainability Institute, Melbourne, Australia, Lee Joachim, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, Shepperton, Australia and Chris Heider, Watershed Professionals Network, Philomath, OR, United States
The Barmah-Millewa region of the Murray-Darling Basin is the heart of the Traditional Lands of the Yorta Yorta people. Management of water and ecosystem services in the region is governed by a wide array of sometimes inconsistent legislation and policies with differing rules, management focus and plans, and permitting and allocation procedures. Geographic information systems are a common framework for the integration of Indigenous knowledge and insights into natural resources management. But only with appropriate collection, management and database design protocols in place can geodatabase development and analysis support the effective and respectful participation of the Yorta Yorta community in management of this ecologically, economically and culturally important region. Here we describe the knowledge collection and protection protocols that were applied to develop the integrated geodatabase. We present approaches to generating meaningful guidance for water managers on the cultural implications of water allocation decisions.