Aboriginal people caring for country: good for all of us Dr Jocelyn Davies CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Alice Springs Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre 12 September 2008 Livelihoods inLand™ research www.desertknowledgecrc.com.au Critical understandings from land management systems for ‘closing the gap’ in desert Australia Dr Jocelyn Davies CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Alice Springs Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre 12 September 2008 Livelihoods inLand™ research www.desertknowledgecrc.com.au Aboriginal land management – desert Australia • Uniquely placed for sustainable livelihood outcomes (health, well being, income) • Smaller settlements have a key role • Cultural motivations are foundational • Public investment is important to enterprise viability – ‘social enterprise’ • Planning needs to join up land management, health, education and arts Complementary benefits from Aboriginal land management • Health and well being of Aboriginal people • Bush food production, including commercial • Cultural heritage, contributing to: – national cultural life of Australia, – local and export income through tourism and art • Biodiversity conservation, including the protection of threatened species • Greenhouse gas mitigation, carbon sequestration. Closing the gap needs systems thinking ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION SCHOOLING HEALTH BUDGET 08 BUILDING BLOCKS FOR CLOSING THE GAP EARLY CHILDHOOD GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP HEALTHY HOMES SAFE COMMUNITIES Engaging land management to close the gap ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION SCHOOLING HEALTH Land management GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP Caring for country Working on country EARLY CHILDHOOD HEALTHY HOMES SAFE COMMUNITIES WHO framework for social determinants of health WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, final report August 2008 WHO Commission on Social Determinants Country/locality of Health, final report August 2008 U K oo r -G la C ub ue nt nt * ffl ue ffl n an d Ja pa Ic el ,a a ag e av er w ,a hi te sg o -W U K- di a la ck ,p oo Ph r illi pi ne s Li th ua ni a Po la nd M U ex SA ic o -a ve ra ge In w ,p * U SA sg o -B -G la 85 80 75 70 65 60 55 50 U SA U K Life expectancy (years) Health follows a social gradient * * * * Health gradient in work roles 84 82 80 78 76 74 72 70 68 66 64 Men Pr of an es ag si er on ia al l& te Sk ch ille ni ca d no l nm an Sk ua ille l Pa d m rt l an y sk ua ille l d m an ua l U ns kil le d Women M Life expectancy (years) Occupational class differences in life expectancy, England and Wales 1997-9 Occupation category Wilkinson & Marmot. 2003 Social determinants of health, WHO Europe 2nd Ed Photo: Earthbound Consultants Strong languages in desert Australia Photo: Paul Hastings Photo: Karissa Preuss Photo: Karissa Preuss Aboriginal population and settlement pattern 3 Ferrie (ed) 2004. Work, stress and health. Whitehall II study,CCSU/Cabine t Office, London 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 w Lo In t er m ed iat igh e 0 H Likelihood of coronary heart disease Control at work & heart disease Level of control at work (self reported) CLIMATE VARIABILITY Variability & extremeness In primary drivers (Rainfall, other weather) SCARCE RESOURCES Widespread low soil fertility & patchy natural resources SPARSE POPULATION Sparse, mobile & patchy Human population REMOTENESS Distant markets, business education & political centres LOCAL KNOWLEDGE Limited research, local/traditional knowledge relatively important Stafford Smith, Mar 2008 Rangeland Journal, Vol 30 CULTURAL DIFFERENCES Particular types of people, cultures & institutions SOCIAL VARIABILITY Unpredictability in, or lack of control over markets, labour, policy CLIMATE VARIABILITY Variability & extremeness In primary drivers (Rainfall, other weather) SCARCE RESOURCES Widespread low soil fertility & patchy natural resources SPARSE POPULATION Sparse, mobile & patchy Human population REMOTENESS Distant markets, business education & political centres LOCAL KNOWLEDGE Limited research, local/traditional knowledge relatively important Stafford Smith 2008 Rangeland Journal Vol 30 CULTURAL DIFFERENCES Particular types of people, cultures & institutions SOCIAL VARIABILITY Unpredictability in, or lack of control over markets, labour, policy Land (‘country’) is central to Aboriginal world views, livelihood assets & outcomes Law MK Turner: “Everything Comes from the Land” IAD Press Kinship Ceremony Land Plants & Animals Language SEE ALSO: Pawu-Kurlpurlurnu WJ, Holmes M and Box L. 2008. Ngurra-kurlu: A way of working with Warlpiri people, DKCRC Report 41. Desert Knowledge CRC, Alice Springs. “Country and people and land and health and [customary] Law cannot be separated. They are all one.” (Atkinson 2002) Remote regions with strong Aboriginal property rights Very poor Aboriginal health & well being • Aboriginal life expectancy (national): 17-18 years less than national average Rangeland Australia: • Aboriginal mortality rate: 3 x national average • Aboriginal incidence End Stage Renal Disease: 30 x national average • Aboriginal incomes: 25% non-Aboriginal incomes Community wellbeing? • Serious interlinked social issues including alcoholism, domestic violence, child abuse, low literacy Social opportunity cost • $1.5 billion p.a. or $27,000 p.a. per Aboriginal person, in one jurisdiction Explaining the paradox of remote Australia: strong Aboriginal property rights but poor Aboriginal health & wellbeing • State transition in the social-ecological system (land degradation, and loss of traditional knowledge and know-how). • Barriers to accessing traditional lands for ‘caring for country’: poor health & social dysfunction, distance, poverty, reliance on larger centralised settlements for health & education services. • Lack of a systems understanding: not accounting for interrelationships between sectors Relationship between ‘caring for country’ & chronic disease • Building on previous research (health benefits of traditional diet, better health at smaller settlements) • Adult health checks of a representative sample (c300) in a northern Australian settlement + triangulated self-assessment of the time the people sampled spend in caring for country activities (living at outstation, hunting, art, ceremony). • Correlations between time on country and markers for three chronic disease conditions, some pre-symptomatic • Estimated probable change in severity for chronic disease conditions per unit increase in engagement in ‘caring for country’: • Analysed primary health care costs • Concluded there are significant economic efficiencies for securing improved health outcomes if engagement in land management is increased, even by a relatively small amount. • Now analysing generalisabity of these findings, inc in desert areas (Campbell et al in prep; Burgess et al in prep and see Garnett, S and Sithole B 2007, Sustainable Northern Landscapes and the Nexus with Indigenous Health: Healthy Country Healthy people. Land and Water Australia, Canberra;) 3 HYPOTHETICAL 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 w Lo In t er m ed iat igh e 0 H disease risk Chronic Likelihood of coronary heart disease Engagement in land management and chronic disease risk. Control over (selfatassessed) through Levellife of control work (self reported) engagement in land management WHO framework for social determinants of health WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, final report August 2008 Understanding ‘caring for country’ as a social – ecological system Agency Assets Local Assets Other Work Caring for country Activities & Projects More Activity Improved Health New Skills More Species Stronger Knowledge Participant Motivation More Food Harvested Higher Income More Art Educated Youth Youth knowledge of country is a key variable Photo: Michael LaFlamme “The old words tell us where we come from” Shane Jupurrula White recording knowledge of his responsibilities from elders Photo: Karissa Preuss Shane Jupurrula White Youth Increasing Decaying Knowledge Knowledge per Year Knowledge per Year Knowlege per ~ Person Visit Retention Rate ~ Elder Knowledge Knowledge Maximum Elder Loss Rate Loss Rate Sharing Rate Science Youth Knowledge Visits Number of Youth Probability of per Visit Rate of Scientist Choosing Country Visit Sharing Number of Elders Total Country Knowledge Rate of per Elder Elder Sharing Staff Number of Scientists Knowledge per Visits Turnover Rate Number of Youth Scientist Probability of Being in Town Family Capacity Modelling optimal rates youth engagement with elders & country Visits per Family Visits Families per year per Year Comm Knowlege Planned Visits ~ Valued Year Youth Knowledge Knowledge ~ Agency Valued Visits per 000 Planned Visits Year Agency Capacity Dollars per Year Other Activities _ Systemic impacts More income from youth engagement with More job TIME SPENT More other ON COUNTRY opportunities elders & country opportunities Technacy, literacy & numeracy Recording information: GIS & multimedia Natural resource management contracts + YOUTH KNOWLEDGE Observations named, shared in local language and English Improved nutrition Country visits Countrybased learning + PHYSICAL HEALTH More physical activity Shop food match to bush food seasons Seasonal changes learned Better fitness Troubled questions…. • What do Aboriginal people actually do in land management? • Do we (society) really need that? • Where is income going to come from? • And isn’t education – literacy, numeracy actually very important? • Does everyone out bush actually want to do land management? • What about all the other jobs that need to be done in remote settlements? • Who is going to pay for it? • And how does it get organised? Photo: Lucas Jordan Photo: Karissa Preuss Photo: Karissa Preuss Do NRM programs follow principles of customary Law? “The IPA needs to not be afraid of being adopted by Ngurra-kurlu” Steven Jampijinpa Patrick, Lajamanu Signing North Tanami IPA Agreement Photo: Karissa Preuss Photo: Jane Walker Photo: Karissa Preuss Photo: Karissa Preuss Pictures – caring for country Photo: Karissa Preuss Photo: Karissa Preuss Photo: Josie Douglas www.schools.nt.edu.au/tlcland Track based monitoring track plots + experienced trackers = meaningful data Southgate and Moseby. 2008 Track based monitoring for the deserts and rangelands of Australia. NHT funded, Report to WWF, TSN. School DustWatch www.school.dustwatch.edu.au School DustWatch Potential public sector demand, given capacity State/Territory NRM responsibilities (Contracted/facilitated) AREA Threatened species Water A B Park mgt Pastoral Feral land Wind BioClimate animals condition erosion security change , weeds monitoring ** ** C * E * * * * ** ** D Other research and monitoring ** * * * * * * * * * * * * Potential private sector demand, given capacity Private sector (Marketable, based on outcomes) BurningGreen-house AREA Gas mitigation, Carbon offsets A B ** Labour or outcome-based contracts Feral animals Fencing * * ** C * Burning Weed control * * * * D * * * E * * * Application of the cost-effectiveness plane in joint production of health and environmental services 1B: Positive No policy action PUBLIC NET BENEFIT incentives + 2 1A 0 _ 4 3A 3B Negative incentives _ + PRIVATE NET BENEFIT Campbell, Davies & Wakerman. 2007. Desert Knowledge CRC, Working Paper #11; and forthcoming in Rural & Remote Health Online Journal Principles for land management to produce health & wellbeing outcomes, covering… • Authority structures accountable to customary governance of land • Intergenerational learning • Partnerships for two-way learning about environmental change • Management approaches that promote social learning and account for community and investor aspirations Planning for cross-sectoral outcomes for local people and investors Land Human Land management knowledge, skills Social Families actively caring for land Financial Income from land based enterprise Physical Roads built to important places Natural Productivity of plants and animals Law NRM guided by customary law Law taught and learned Money shared in a proper way ‘Tools’ to meet responsibilities Important places properly cared for Language Fluency, literacy in languages Languages taught in school Elders paid for shared knowledge Stories and photos archived Proper names of plants, animals Examples of outcomes Ceremony Youth become responsible adults All families keep ceremonies alive Payment for cultural services Transport for country visits Increases in plants, animals Kinship Skills to keep family healthy All kin groups teach in school Family-based enterprises Well-maintained family outstations Regular family country visits Aboriginal land management – desert Australia • Uniquely placed for sustainable livelihood outcomes (health, well being, income) • Smaller settlements have a key role • Cultural motivations are foundational • Public investment is important to enterprise viability – ‘social enterprise’ • Planning needs to join up land management, health, education and arts Thankyou Collaborating & support organisations: • • • • • • • • • • • CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems Centre for Remote Health Charles Darwin University Northern Territory Government Central Land Council Community members and staff: Lajamanu, Yuendumu, Anmatjere, Wilowra, Ntaria, Nepabunna, Hay Warlpiri Media Australian Government Department of the Water, Environment, Heritage and the Arts Australian National University Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Land and Water Australia Collaborating researchers including: • David Campbell, Paul Burgess, Stephen Garnett, John Wakerman, Michael LaFlamme, Jane Walker, Karissa Preuss, Josie Douglas, Fiona Walsh, Miles Holmes, Steven Jampijinpa Patrick., Lance Box,. Photos: Earthbound consultants, Karissa Preuss, Paul Hastings, Michael LaFlamme, Jocelyn Davies, Josie Douglas, Lucas Jordan, Jane Walker This research is supported by funding from the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre Program through the Desert Knowledge CRC; the views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of Desert Knowledge CRC or its Participants.