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Pert P.L.,CSIRO | Pert P.L.,James Cook University | Ens E.J.,Macquarie University | Locke J.,Biocultural Consulting Pty Ltd | And 3 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

With growing international calls for the enhanced involvement of Indigenous peoples and their biocultural knowledge in managing conservation and the sustainable use of physical environment, it is timely to review the available literature and develop cross-cultural approaches to the management of biocultural resources. Online spatial databases are becoming common tools for educating land managers about Indigenous Biocultural Knowledge (IBK), specifically to raise a broad awareness of issues, identify knowledge gaps and opportunities, and to promote collaboration. Here we describe a novel approach to the application of internet and spatial analysis tools that provide an overview of publically available documented Australian IBK (AIBK) and outline the processes used to develop the online resource. By funding an AIBK working group, the Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS) provided a unique opportunity to bring together cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary and trans-organizational contributors who developed these resources. Without such an intentionally collaborative process, this unique tool would not have been developed. The tool developed through this process is derived from a spatial and temporal literature review, case studies and a compilation of methods, as well as other relevant AIBK papers. The online resource illustrates the depth and breadth of documented IBK and identifies opportunities for further work, partnerships and investment for the benefit of not only Indigenous Australians, but all Australians. The database currently includes links to over 1500 publically available IBK documents, of which 568 are geo-referenced and were mapped. It is anticipated that as awareness of the online resource grows, more documents will be provided through the website to build the database. It is envisaged that this will become a well-used tool, integral to future natural and cultural resource management and maintenance. © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. Source


Ens E.J.,Australian National University | Pert P.,CSIRO | Clarke P.A.,Griffith University | Budden M.,Indigenous | And 11 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

Worldwide, environmental conservation directives are mandating greater inclusion of Indigenous people and their knowledge in the management of global ecosystems. Colonised countries such as the United States of America, New Zealand and Australia have responded with an array of policy and programs to enhance Indigenous involvement; however, balancing Indigenous and non-Indigenous priorities and preferred management methods is a substantial challenge. Using Australia as a case study, we investigate past documentation and use of Indigenous biocultural knowledge (IBK) and assess the main contributions to ecosystem science and management. Focussing on the terrestrial environment, this innovative paper presents an integrated review of IBK documentation (IBKD) by conducting a spatial, temporal and content analysis of the publically available literature. A spatial analysis of the place-based documents identified Australian IBKD hotspots, gaps and opportunities for further collaboration. Sixty percent of IBKD has occurred off the Indigenous estate with only 19% of the total coinciding with current Indigenous Protected Areas. We also found that IBKD hotspots were different to Australia's biodiversity hotspots suggesting opportunity for development of integrated biological and cultural hotspots. A temporal analysis of IBKD showed exponential growth since the 1970s and typical involvement of non-Indigenous researchers. Indigenous authorship remained negligible until the 1990s when there was an obvious increase, although only 14% of IBKD to date has acknowledged Indigenous authorship. Working through Australia's broad biological conservation priorities, we demonstrate how IBK has and can be used to inform research and management of biodiversity, threatened species, aquatic ecosystems, fire, invasive species, and climate change. We also synthesise documented suggestions for overcoming cross-cultural awareness and communication challenges between Indigenous people and biologists, environmental managers and policy makers. Lastly, we suggest that inclusion of both tangible and philosophical engagement of Indigenous people in national conservation agendas may promote more holistic socio-ecological systems thinking and facilitate greater progress towards addressing the Indigenous engagement directive of international conservation agreements. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Lynch A.J.J.,University of Canberra | Thackway R.,University of Queensland | Specht A.,University of Queensland | Specht A.,National Center for Ecological Analysis And Synthesis | And 26 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

Mitigating the environmental effects of global population growth, climatic change and increasing socio-ecological complexity is a daunting challenge. To tackle this requires synthesis: the integration of disparate information to generate novel insights from heterogeneous, complex situations where there are diverse perspectives. Since 1995, a structured approach to inter-, multi- and trans-disciplinary. 1 1Transdisciplinary: A theory, methodology, point of view or perspective that transcends entrenched categories and engages both researchers and practitioners in formulating problems in new ways to address real-world problems (e.g. eco-health, ecosystem services). collaboration around big science questions has been supported through synthesis centres around the world. These centres are finding an expanding role due to ever-accumulating data and the need for more and better opportunities to develop transdisciplinary and holistic approaches to solve real-world problems. The Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS <. http://www.aceas.org.au>) has been the pioneering ecosystem science synthesis centre in the Southern Hemisphere. Such centres provide analysis and synthesis opportunities for time-pressed scientists, policy-makers and managers. They provide the scientific and organisational environs for virtual and face-to-face engagement, impetus for integration, data and methodological support, and innovative ways to deliver synthesis products.We detail the contribution, role and value of synthesis using ACEAS to exemplify the capacity for synthesis centres to facilitate trans-organisational, transdisciplinary synthesis. We compare ACEAS to other international synthesis centres, and describe how it facilitated project teams and its objective of linking natural resource science to policy to management. Scientists and managers were brought together to actively collaborate in multi-institutional, cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary research on contemporary ecological problems. The teams analysed, integrated and synthesised existing data to co-develop solution-oriented publications and management recommendations that might otherwise not have been produced. We identify key outcomes of some ACEAS working groups which used synthesis to tackle important ecosystem challenges. We also examine the barriers and enablers to synthesis, so that risks can be minimised and successful outcomes maximised. We argue that synthesis centres have a crucial role in developing, communicating and using synthetic transdisciplinary research. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


Lynch A.J.J.,University of Canberra | Thackway R.,University of Queensland | Specht A.,University of Queensland | Specht A.,National Center for Ecological Analysis And Synthesis | And 26 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

Mitigating the environmental effects of global population growth, climatic change and increasing socio-ecological complexity is a daunting challenge. To tackle this requires synthesis: the integration of disparate information to generate novel insights from heterogeneous, complex situations where there are diverse perspectives. Since 1995, a structured approach to inter-, multi- and trans-disciplinary. 11Transdisciplinary: A theory, methodology, point of view or perspective that transcends entrenched categories and engages both researchers and practitioners in formulating problems in new ways to address real-world problems (e.g. eco-health, ecosystem services). collaboration around big science questions has been supported through synthesis centres around the world. These centres are finding an expanding role due to ever-accumulating data and the need for more and better opportunities to develop transdisciplinary and holistic approaches to solve real-world problems. The Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS <. http://www.aceas.org.au>) has been the pioneering ecosystem science synthesis centre in the Southern Hemisphere. Such centres provide analysis and synthesis opportunities for time-pressed scientists, policy-makers and managers. They provide the scientific and organisational environs for virtual and face-to-face engagement, impetus for integration, data and methodological support, and innovative ways to deliver synthesis products.We detail the contribution, role and value of synthesis using ACEAS to exemplify the capacity for synthesis centres to facilitate trans-organisational, transdisciplinary synthesis. We compare ACEAS to other international synthesis centres, and describe how it facilitated project teams and its objective of linking natural resource science to policy to management. Scientists and managers were brought together to actively collaborate in multi-institutional, cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary research on contemporary ecological problems. The teams analysed, integrated and synthesised existing data to co-develop solution-oriented publications and management recommendations that might otherwise not have been produced. We identify key outcomes of some ACEAS working groups which used synthesis to tackle important ecosystem challenges. We also examine the barriers and enablers to synthesis, so that risks can be minimised and successful outcomes maximised. We argue that synthesis centres have a crucial role in developing, communicating and using synthetic transdisciplinary research. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

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