Saturday, May 9, 2009

SERI World Conference on Ecological Restoration: Three Sessions Featuring Indigenous Knowledge

SERI 2009 World Conference on Ecological Restoration, August 23-27, Perth, W. Australia

Theme: Linking science with the arts - social and cultural aspects of restoration

Sub Theme: indigenous ecological knowledge for restoration

SYMPOSIUM TITLE: Traditional values for a new future: Aboriginal traditional ecological knowledge and land management.

PRINCIPAL ORGANIZER: Joan Gibbs, Lecturer in Ecology, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095. Phone: +61-8-8302-5164; Fax +61-8-8302-5721. Email Moderator for symposium.

Traditional land owners need to be heard, speaking out about caring for their land. The land is suffering because young people need to be taught the old ways. Ecological restoration provides the network necessary to acknowledge the attachment and understandings of people living on the land of their ancestry. Rapid global change is placing unprecedented pressures on the world's Aboriginal peoples and their traditional lands. Bringing together traditional Indigenous people at the 2009 Perth symposium of the International Society for Ecological Restoration will encourage and value the old knowledge about land management practices, to share their successes and lessons learned. We hope to capture the growing movement to conserve and reintroduce Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge of caring for country, as the basis for restoring land.

This symposium will bring together many traditional land owners who are trying to keep the management practices handed down for generations. People will converge from all parts of Australia, North and South America, Africa and Oceania, to find the common themes of land restoration for people living on their traditional land. By open discussions and listening to traditional owners speaking, participants will experience other ways of knowing the land.

SPEAKERS (listed in order of appearance):
1. Noel Nannup - Noongar elder and land manager, Australia
TITLE “Noongar land management: a spiritual basis: Why we are compelled to maintain the balance in a modern world”

2. David Claudie - Cape York, Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation, Australia
TITLE: "Indigenous Knowledge and land management, Cape York Peninsula"

3. Victor Steffensen - Cape York, Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways (TKRP) Australia
TITLE: " Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways (TKRP): Indigenous-led, grass roots land management and research”

4. Agnes Pilgrim - Author, Oregon, USA
TITLE: "Water can hear" - about managing her land and water in Oregon for conserving culture, ecosystems and weaving materials

5. Leanne Liddle1 and Wattaru women2 (1Coordinator of Aboriginal Parks & Wildlife, South Australian Dept. Environment and Heritage; 2Wattaru country, NW South Australia
TITLE: “Our life, our land” - about keeping culture to keep animals and land alive

6. Ellen and Tom Trevorrow --Ngarrindjeri basket weavers, Meningie, South Australia
TITLE: "Working on country for ecosystem conservation and baskets"

7. Veronica Perrurle Dobson - Arrernte elder, land manager and author, Australia
TITLE: “The springs of Urlampe in the Arennye Ranges, Santa Teresa, Alice Springs”

8. Riki Gunn1 and indigenous speakers2 – 1Coordinator, Carpentaria Ghost Net Project; 2 Indigenous land and sea managers from Torres Strait, Qld and Northern Territory, Australia
TITLE: “Carpentaria Ghost Net Programme: Saltwater people working together”

9. Dennis Martinez - Indigenous Peoples’ Restoration Network, USA
TITLE: "Balancing Two Worlds: The Complementarity of Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western Science in Restoring Natural Systems"

10. Alejandro Argumedo – Asociacion Andes, Peru
TITLE: “The Potato Park, an Indigenous Biocultural Heritage Territory”

11. Aareka Hopkins – Applied Riverine Lake and Wetland Restorations, Aotearoa-New Zealand
TITLE: "Restoring the mauri of lakes and wetlands of North Waikato, Aotearoa-New Zealand"

12. Mr. Essa Souso – The Gambia, West Africa, with Amadou Camara (translator), Suwareh Kunda Village, North Bank Region
TITLE: “The role of village cemeteries and cultural sites in ecosystem management and maintenance of cultural identity in The Gambia”


TITLE: The Complementarity of Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science in the Restoration of Fire-Adapted Ecosystems in Spain, Northern Australia, and California

PRINCIPAL ORGANIZER: Dennis Martinez, (O’odham/Chicano) Co-chair Indigenous Peoples’ Restoration Network (IPRN), a working group of The Society for Ecological Restoration International (SERI) USA. PO Box 495, Douglas City, CA 96024. Phone 530-623-5056, Msg. 530-222-7576. Email Moderator for symposium.

SPEAKERS (listed alphabetically):
1. Otto Campion, Wanga Djakamirri Rangers. Topic: Aboriginal and park ranger perspectives on burning in northern Australia NPs. [C]

2. Dr, Michael Davis, historian and policy analyst, Woden, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Topic: Indigenous knowledge and the language of law and policy. [C]

3. Dr. Don Hankins (Plains Miwok California Indian), Dept. Of Geography, Chico State University, California, Co-organizer of this session. Title: Patch Mosaic Burning: Indigenous Fire Use as a Baseline Process. [C]

4. Leaf Hillman, Karuk Tribal Council Vice-Chair, Orleans, California. Topic: Traditional Karuk Indian burning and cultural resources in northern California’s Klamath River Basin[C]

5. Kathy Mc Covey, Karuk Tribe, NW California. Topic: Traditional Karuk Indian burning and cultural resources in northern California’s Klamath River Basin [C]

6. Dr. Richard Minnich, Department of Geography, University of California at Riverside. Topic: Fire hazard and risk in the chaparral brushlands of southern California [C]

7. Joe Morrison, Chief Executive Officer, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management (NAILSMA), Darwin University, Darwin NT, Australia. Topic: Aboriginal burning, climate change mitigation, and the West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement Project [C]

8. Dr. Jeremy Russell-Smith, NAILSMA, Australia. Topic: A Western scientist’s perspective on Aboriginal burning in northern Australia’s national parks. [C]

9. Dr. Francisco Seijo, American University, Seville, Spain. Title: Landscapes as Cultural Artifact: Traditional Peasant Uses of Fire in the Mountainous Ecosystems of Galicia, Spain

10. Dean Yibarbuk, Warrdaken Land Management and NAILSMA. Topic: Perspectives on aboriginal and park ranger burning in northern Australia [C]

The world can no longer afford the questionable luxury of working solely within the Western tradition if we are to learn to live sustainably. Conserving our options means, in part, conserving the diversity of ways of thinking about problems—including climate change—for the generations coming after us. Due to the unprecedented rates and intensities of environmental change and the variety of challenges we are currently grappling with, a diversity of knowledge systems and cultural land practices are urgently needed. We can no longer rely on Western science alone. Place-based local and traditional Indigenous knowledge may be complementary to the more generalized knowledge and remote sensing methodologies—too often not groundtruthed—of Western science. Native knowledge holders and practitioners could be partners in collaborative research with Western investigators. In a multicultural world, new relationships need to be forged between Western and non-Western epistemologies in order to transcend the conventional and limiting modern/traditional dichotomy. Traditional Indigenous societies should be viewed as alternative modernities (Swain in Reid et al, 2006) because of their time-tested capacity to adapt to consistently changing environmental and economic circumstances. That is how many adaptive traditional societies have survived for millennia in one place.

This symposium will compare three traditional cultural approaches to intentional fire: Gaelic northwest Spain, Aboriginal northern Australia, and American Indian California. We will also hear from a Western fire ecologist and geographer, park ranger, and historian/policy analyst. Two of the Native participants are traditional fire practitioners as well as scientists, and one is a park ranger. The symposium will present a diversity of emphases and methods in anthropogenic fire that spring from different cultures and environments as well as some similarities.

Differences in worldviews between Indigenous practitioners, pastoralists and park rangers or fire ecologists exist with respect to burning practices (Lewis in Reid et al, 2006). Questions that will be addressed are whether these worldview differences will prevent finding common ground in burning practices; and whether a knowledge-practice continuum exists across time and locale that makes conventional dichotomies between “Indigenous”, “local”, and “science” irrelevant in a restoration context. (Davis in Reid et al, 2006). Is there sufficient common ground for collaboration despite differences in cultural relationships to the land? Finally, we will relate anthropogenic fire to climate change mitigation, including the Darwin Liquefied Natural Gas-Aboriginal pay-for-burning project. There will be one hour for audience questions and comments in a final interactive roundtable discussion with the panelists.

Reference: Walter V. Reid et al. 2006. Bridging scales and knowledge systems: concepts and applications in ecosystem assessment. Island Press, Covelo, CA and Washington D.C.


Title: Values and Ecological Restoration: Fostering Senses of Place and Relationships with Landscapes

Principal Organizer:
Dr Angela Wardell-Johnson,
Research Fellow (Building 208 Rm 426)
Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U1987, Perth. W.A. 6845
Tel: 61 8 9266 4788


Through inviting speakers from the environmental, social science, applied and arts fields, this session will explore how restoration can draw on social relationships with the environment to offer participants a deeper experience of being part of nature and how this can help to transform society and cultures in a changing world.

Many members of SER work in community-based restoration where sense of place is a primary motivator for volunteer participation; whether in conservation, agricultural or urban landscapes. The development of deep attachments can enrich the restoration experience and the quality of ecological outcomes, but poor understanding of this can lead to sub-optimal support programs. Speakers will address both the philosophic aspects of restoring special places and the need for managers to understand the implications of our attachment to them, to optimise natural area restoration outcomes and the challenge of building ecologically sustainable cultural landscapes.

This symposium has speakers providing papers of 15 - 30 minutes and time for synthesis and discussion to draw conclusions and recommendations together.


1. Noel Nannup – (Noongar elder and land manager, Western Australia)
TITLE: "Sense of Place: An Aboriginal perspective of belonging.”

2. Veronica Perrurle Dobson1, Josie Douglas2 and Fiona Walsh (1Arrente elder, land manager and author; 2 Charles Darwin University and Desert Knowledge CRC; CSIRO and Desert Knowledge CRC, Australia):
TITLE: “‘Anperrentye - Relationships between plants, land, people and all things’: Arrernte values within landscapes and key bush food species in restoration”

3. Angela Wardell-Johnson (Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia)
TITLE: “Sense of place: scale, context and social surrounds”

4. Andre Clewell (Andre F. Clewell, Florida, USA)
TITLE: "Place and the Four Quadrant Model for Ecological Restoration."

5. William R. Jordan III (The New Academy for Nature and Culture, DePaul University Institute for Nature and Culture, Illinois USA)
TITLE: "Part and A-Part: Versions of Restoration in the Search for Community and Place”

6. Ross MacCleay - (Bush regenerator and author, Bellingen, Australia)
TITLE: “Place: restoration to test meaning in context”.

7. Cynthia Dunbabin, (Farmer, Tasmania, Australia)
TITLE: “Restoration on farm: restor(y)ing our place, extending care”

8. Judy Christie (Sydney Metropolitan CMA, Australia)
TITLE: “Local action in local places: Insights from Sydney's 8,000 ecological restoration volunteers.”

9. David Curtis (Southern Rivers CMA, Australia)
TITLE: "Creating empathy for the restoration of natural environments: the role of the visual and performing arts"

10. Pablo Peri, (National University of Southern Patagonia (UNPA), Patagonia).
TITLE: “The landscape as a sculptors palette: restoration and the arts in farmed landscapes in Patagonia”

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alotstuff said...

thanks for the valuable information

Peter N. Jones said...

My pleasure alotstuff. You may want to subscribe in a Reader to stay on top of everything, or join the email list at the top.

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