Publication Details

Moorcroft, H. & Adams, M. (2014). Emerging geographies of conservation and Indigenous land in Australia. Australian Geographer, 45 (4), 485-504.


International examples of interactions between Indigenous peoples and the new conservation paradigm come mainly from developing countries and suggest divisions over priorities. As a Western settler society, Australia is at a critical time in conservation and Indigenous peoples' rights. Innovative approaches to conservation are promoted. The role and influence of non-governmental organisations is increasing. Indigenous peoples' rights to land are recognised and Indigenous involvement in conservation is growing. Yet, despite Australia being considered a leader in these arenas, particularly the latter, there has been little analysis of the relationship between innovative approaches to conservation and Indigenous Australians under the new paradigm. This paper describes how the spatial manifestations of approaches under the new conservation paradigm and Indigenous land in Australia are creating new geographies. We identify geographies of overlap, dichotomy and absence. The paper identifies research needs into these geographies, including: examining the influence of 'recognition' in engagements between conservation and Indigenous Australians; investigating the impacts of approaches under the new paradigm such as scaling-up, territorialism and differing governance structures on Indigenous Australians; and questioning the social responsibilities of the non-governmental organisations towards Indigenous Australians.



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