Pathways to the co-management of protected areas and native title in Australia
Toni Bauman, Chris Haynes and Gabrielle Lauder, AIATSIS Research Discussion Paper no. 32, May 2013 | ISBN: 9781922102119

This paper first provides an overview of the regulatory and non-regulatory rules and norms that frame the entrance to co-management arrangements in Australia, including Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictions, and discusses a number of evolving pathways to co-management in Australia, in particular native title. It then makes some jurisdictional comparisons of these institutional arrangements, questioning their relative value and whether their diversity is creating significant inequities among Aboriginal people. It also discusses a number of issues in making such comparisons and highlights the importance of flexible co-management arrangements on an incremental pathway to “full” co-management arrangements with a number of provisos, including that governments formally agree to such a progression at the outset. The authors also argue that institutionalized arrangements do not tell the full story about what is actually happening on the ground, and discuss a number of issues that can arise as such arrangements play out in practice. Finally, the paper suggests that there is a need to normalize a culture in which co-management is conceived as an ongoing process of the negotiation of meaning and relationships within and across parties. Seen through such a lens, co-management is a distinctive and complex single form of governance in which traditional owners, indigenous organizations and bureaucracies interact to produce shared outcomes. Download the paper [pdf] …