Northern Indigenous Australians own, manage, or have other rights over extensive coastal waters and nearly 60% of the land. The organisations and individuals responsible for the sustainable utilisation and management of these natural resources utilise both Traditional Knowledge and newer scientific knowledge.

Previous research (NESP Project 1.31) found that Custodian managers’ needs regarding priority topics of community and ‘country’ research, are often overlooked. As well, Traditional Knowledge is insufficiently recognised by mainstream researchers, and Indigenous people seldom participate in research planning and implementation, nor in interpreting findings.

The solution is a National Indigenous Environmental Research Network, with appropriate resourcing, to facilitate and streamline inclusive and relevant research.

This project will progress the establishment of this Network.


Using an inclusive approach, Project 3.2 will undertake the research and actions required to create this Network by convening a Steering Committee of environmental researchers and associates, who together will:

  • analyse current research for inclusive processes, or factors that create exclusion;
  • identify the research priorities of various Indigenous communities and organisations;
  • commence case study projects to develop and test approaches and concepts;
  • build processes, protocols, structures, and expertise
  • define an approval process for research;
  • outline a protocol for cultural and intellectual property agreements; and
  • progress establishment of the Network.

Expected outcomes

  • Indigenous economic, social and country values considered in scientific research.
  • A National Indigenous Environmental Research Network delivering Indigenous inclusive research.
  • Improved application of research outcomes for Indigenous communities, land and seascapes.

Project location