Engaging with uncertainty: Shared governance in indigenous conservation landscapes



Publication Details

Adams, M. (2017). Engaging with uncertainty: Shared governance in indigenous conservation landscapes. In L. Elenius, C. Allard & C. Sandstrom (Eds.), Indigenous Rights in Modern Landscapes: Nordic Conservation Regimes in Global Context (pp. 126-145). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.


Nature conservation reserves occur across the world, with a spectrum of tenures and management regimes. This chapter examines trajectories of shared governance in conservation between governments and indigenous peoples across two nations, as a contrast to equivalent approaches in contemporary Nordic nations. Australia has the second oldest national park in the world (Royal National Park established in 1879), and two unique World Heritage sites that are jointly managed with local indigenous people (Ulu r u-Kata Tju t a National Park and Kakadu National Park, both in northern Australia). Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for more than 50,000 years. India has a more recent formal protected area system, but also ancient practices of protecting significant landscapes, and very complex demographic and cultural patterns, including a large number of indigenous groups. Sweden has the oldest protected area system in Europe, as well as the Laponia World Heritage Area, cooperatively managed between the Swedish state and Sámi reindeer herding communities. Across these countries and globally, ideas of the conservation of nature and culture are extensively debated, and a wide range of different forms of conservation are practised.

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