Managing the landscapes of the Australian Northern Territory for sustainability: Visions, issues and strategies for successful planning

Diane Pearson, Julian Gorman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The Northern Territory in Australia is a unique place. The region covers one sixth of the land mass of Australia with a population of only 200. 000 people. One third of this population is indigenous and just over half of the land is under Aboriginal land title (mostly communal ownership). The landscapes in this region are still in a relatively good condition yet a large proportion of the indigenous population that reside within them are seen to be living with major social and health problems. The governance of the region is a complex mixture of Federal, Territory, and local Government, as well as indigenous and non-indigenous land ownership. To date, planning has largely been ad hoc and influenced by external factors, with little regard for Aboriginal aspirations for the future. Currently there is growing interest in developing the region which would appear to be associated with a drought that is adversely affecting the agricultural potential of southern States of Australia. This paper discusses some of the issues associated with the lack of a shared vision for the future of the NT. It recommends the use of an integrated holistic approach to planning, as defined by a Leitbild, as a strategy for creating a shared vision and working towards successful sustainable landscape planning. Other strategies put forward include placing an economic value on the ecological and cultural significance of the region, in particular providing real jobs on remote Aboriginal communities through developing enterprises based on sustainable use of wildlife and payment for the ecosystem services that Aboriginal land management provides, and applying more empowering methods of participation in scenario modelling for the future using Geographic Information Systems and other visualisation technology. � 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)711-722
    Number of pages12
    JournalFutures
    Volume42
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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