Policy on Engaging with Indigenous People
Earthwatch Australia acknowledges the rights of Indigenous people as custodians of the land and the importance of traditional knowledge in the development of a sustainable environment.In recognition of this, Earthwatch Australia has developed the following policy on engaging with Indigenous people.
1. Earthwatch Australia is committed to building mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous people based on respect and recognition of their rights and interests in land and water across Australia.
2. Earthwatch Australia seeks to understand the diversity of Indigenous culture and knowledge and to promote opportunities to work with Indigenous people to develop a shared understanding of a sustainable environment for this continent.
3. In supporting field research projects, Earthwatch Australia will ensure that, where appropriate, the Principal Investigator has:
- consulted with Indigenous people, their communities and representatives, and their organisations with respect to the proposed research project
- sought their advice on the nature and type of research that is being conducted in their country
- reached mutual agreement in good faith and based on free and informed prior consent, about the nature of this research and the use of the research results and outcomes
- reached mutual agreement to ensure appropriate feedback to the community of research results and outcomes, both during and at the conclusion of the research
All such research will demonstrate respect for and recognition of Indigenous knowledge systems and processes.
4. Where appropriate, Earthwatch Australia will consult directly with Indigenous people and their organisations to seek their advice in respect of a specific project and/or to promote mutual understanding.
5. Earthwatch Australia will ensure that Principal Investigators promote cultural awareness to their field research teams and involve local Indigenous people as appropriate.
6. Earthwatch Australia will seek funding to support Indigenous people’s participation in field research and training in scientific methodology and to provide opportunities for volunteer participants to interact with and learn from Indigenous communities.
7. Management will report annually to the Science Advisory Committee and the Board against the following criteria:
- the number of projects conducted in partnership with Indigenous people
- the number of Indigenous people participating in field research projects.
8. Where appropriate, Earthwatch Australia will acknowledge Traditional Owners at public events.