Managing sea-country in Australian Marine Parks
Principles supporting Indigenous people to engage in management of Australian Marine Parks
It is recognised that Indigenous people have been sustainably using and managing their sea country, including areas now included within Australian Marine Parks, for thousands of years in some cases since before rising sea levels created these marine environments.
Management of Australian Marine Parks should be undertaken on the basis that native title exists in sea country within Commonwealth waters.
Indigenous people should be engaged in planning and managing Australian Marine Parks on the basis of their nationally and internationally recognised rights and cultural interests, not as a ‘stakeholder’ group.
Maximise opportunities for Indigenous people to enjoy the management and use of their sea country.
Maximise opportunities for the development of Indigenous livelihoods, consistent with national ‘closing the gap’ commitments.
Governance and management activities within Australian Marine Parks should respect and complement local Indigenous governance arrangements, plans, capacities and activities.
Indigenous engagement in managing Australian Marine Parks should be undertaken through good faith negotiations, seeking to build on the common ground that exists between Indigenous people and the Australian Government to protect and sustainably use Australia’s sea country environments and resources.
Third party investment in management activities in Australian Marine Parks (e.g. through environmental offset investments) should include support for Indigenous people’s interests, capacity-building and development of livelihoods, consistent with all other principles outlined above; such third party investments must not impact on native title compensation negotiations or on the right to compensation.
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