National caring for country strategy
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National Caring for Country Strategy. Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC). Statutory Committee established under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) Ministerial Appointed Experts Skills Based Appointment 12 members (one vacancy). Role of the IAC.

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Indigenous advisory committee iac
Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC)

  • Statutory Committee established under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

  • Ministerial Appointed Experts

  • Skills Based Appointment

  • 12 members (one vacancy)

Role of the iac
Role of the IAC

Provide advice to the Minister and Department for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities on:

  • the operation of the EPBC Act, taking into account the significance of Indigenous People’s knowledge of the management of land and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and

  • The responsibilities of the department.

Terms of reference
Terms of Reference

  • Work with peak Indigenous bodies, experts, communities, and other stakeholders to ensure the views of Indigenous peoples are incorporated in the implementation and development of the EPBC Act; and

  • Advise on work being undertaken by the department as it relates to Indigenous engagement and environment and heritage outcomes.

History of the national caring for country strategy
History of the National Caring for Country Strategy

  • The Strategy was developed following a call by delegates who attended the second 2007 National Indigenous Land and Sea Management Conference (NILSMC) at Cardwell, QLD.

  • The Strategy was also discussed at the at the third 2010 NILSMC at Broken Hill, NSW.

  • The IAC successfully lobbied for the funds to produce the Strategy and oversaw its development.

  • It is still a draft strategy.

History cont
History (cont.)

  • The Draft Strategy was finalised in 2012 and has been provided to the Minister and to the department.

  • It is expected that the Strategy will enhance the capacity of Traditional Owners to realise their rights and aspirations for their country and people.

The approach
The Approach

The strategy also has three underlying

fundamental principles. It could or should:

  • Have a 30 year timeframe (divided into six, five year planning, implementation and review cycles);

  • Operate independently of government; and

  • Give true meaning and effect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ right to collective self-determination.

  • Operate at a formal and informal level.


  • Land and sea country planning and management.

  • Indigenous knowledge systems.

  • Natural and cultural resources management;

  • Fresh water and river ecosystems.

  • Protected areas.

  • Climate change.

Key aims and objectives
Key Aims and Objectives

  • The adoption of a regionalised approach through the establishment of regional hubs for caring for country;

  • Supporting the effective engagement between land and sea managers, other stakeholders and potential partners in the strategy; and

  • Harnessing the existing capacity of land and sea managers through building on what currently exists and works.

  • Establish an independent nationally representative organisation,

Short to medium term goals
Short to Medium Term Goals

  • Access funding and in-kind contributions to enable the establishment of regional hubs and the implementation of the strategy.

  • Develop a process for the adoption of the Strategy.

    • The next NILSMC (a subject for discussion at this conference).

The first five years
The First Five Years

The proposed goals include:

  • enlisting of 50 regional hubs to support implementation of the Strategy;

  • development of 50 ‘cultural landscape plans’ that identify Indigenous aspirations and contributions caring for natural resources; and

  • establishment of 300 partnerships and alliances between Indigenous organisations, stakeholders and the corporate sector related to caring for country.


  • Belonging, ownership and use;

  • Access;

  • Healthy Country Healthy People;

  • Law and policy:

    • intersection of various pieces of legislation and approvals processes;

    • future acts.

  • Conservation: Ongoing inter-generational customary practices.


  • Capacity recognition and building;

  • Decision-making processes:

    • NILSM conference;

    • Other forums;

  • Representation;

  • Opportunity and benefit-sharing;

    • Inter-generational equity;

  • Building and maintaining relationships.


  • Supporting land and sea managers with:

    • their business and strategic planning requirements of land and sea management organisations;

    • contributing to local and state government planning and development processes and frameworks;

    • cultural landscape based planning

    • conservation planning eg. plans of management.

  • Planning requirements of a national body.

Organisations and operating systems
Organisations and Operating Systems

  • Regional Hubs.

  • National stewardship including evaluation and monitoring;

  • Raising capital and investment;

  • Advocacy and policy;

  • Awareness raising;

  • Support/link to international engagement, but perhaps not the exchanges

Values and operating rules
Values and Operating Rules

  • Developing a set of national guiding principles or rules that will provide standards for engagement through the strategy.

  • Are these necessary?

  • If so, how might they be presented:

    • Charter/Protocol;

    • Constitution;


  • Financial:

    • Investment and capital requirements;

    • Potential resources and relationship building;

    • Avoiding competition for funds between national, regional and local bodies;

  • In-kind:

    • Offices and accommodation;

    • Expertise

  • Engaging partners and investors

    • Their buy in.

Moving forward
Moving Forward

  • Registration of interest to facilitate ongoing engagement.

  • Mechanism for collectively deciding on the final strategy.

  • Determine how the strategy can best support our domestic network and its engagement with the WIN.

  • Making the strategy more action-based.

  • Advise on the role of the IAC.