Questions: emerging environmental issues for indigenous peoples
in northern Australia is a timely survey by Marcia Langton, Director
of the Centre for Indigenous Natural and Cultural Resource Management
(CINCRM) at the Northern Territory University, which argues for
the re-implication of Aboriginal people in the management of northern
Australian landscapes. Langton exposes the science fictionsâ that
have placed traditional environmental knowledge in a secondary
position to western scientific thinking and led to misunderstandings
about the significance of cultural and spiritual affiliations
to landscapes, flora and fauna in the Aboriginal domain. She demonstrates
that indigenous people have successfully managed the landscape
for millennia and are responding to the challenge of sustainable
environmental management in innovative ways which combine traditional
environmental practices and western scientific insights.
the dominant scientific perspective on northern Australia? - a
vast sweep of land and sea carrying a precious cargo of native
plants and animals, one of the last great pristine wildernesses
of the globe, offering a pressing challenge for resource managers
intent on conserving these assests. Marcia Langton shows that
such assessments is comprehensively flawed, for they too frequently
carry with them a blindness to the human nature of the land and
seascape. Cared for, modified, used and loved by Aboriginal knowledge
must come together for common good, and that more equal partnerships
will not only humanise the landscapoe but also humanise our science."
- Dr Stephen Morton, Program Leader, CSIRO wildlife and Ecology.
the benefit of our country, it's about time scientists, conservationalists
and ecologists started to understand Yolngu ways of caring for
the land. Marcia Langton' study is important in making our two
worlds come together for the benefit of the land." - Galarrwuy
to one of the most powerful, challenging voices in Australia.
Marcia Langton has a formidable mind, a fighting spirit and, arguably,
an unequalled knowledge of Aboriginal issues." -
Langton stands at the crossroads of Indigenous and scientific
coinservation perspectives and lets no one pass unquestioned.
Her probing into these issues needs to be read by all conservationists."-
Michael Krockenberger, Australian Conservation Foundation
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