The aim of this project was to investigate the innovations being developed in the contemporary Ngarrindjeri engagement with environmental water research and planning in the Coorong, Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Ramsar wetland. To produce an account of this innovative approach to Indigenous engagement that supports an improved local, national and international understanding of developing mechanisms for including Indigenous values and knowledge in environmental water and wetland management.
This research project was designed to support the development of a theorised account of the innovations being developed in environmental water planning in the Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina Ramsar Wetland. This was achieved in the final project report with the opportunity to make some practical recommendations regarding the incorporation of Indigenous values, knowledges and interests into Ramsar wetland planning at a national and international level. The Ngarrindjeri nation-building approach to environmental management is centred upon a unique understanding of the relationship between people, lands and waters, and all living things encapsulated in the concept of Ruwe/Ruwar. The implications of this approach for environmental planning activities such as the development of Ecological Character Descriptions is complex, challenging and potentially productive for environmental managers in Australia and internationally.
The final Goyder report has provided a detailed, theorised discussion of the implications of Ngarrindjeri engagement with ECD planning and its value for Ramsar management practices and planning in South Australia, Australia and internationally. This work has drawn on up-to-date theory in the posthumanities and posthuman social sciences. The project also situated the Ngarrindjeri engagement strategy in environmental water management, and NRM more broadly, in Australian and international indigenous contexts. This work is contributing directly to innovations in Murray-Darling Basin planning through ongoing Ngarrindjeri work with the SA Government and the M-D Basin Authority in water and Ramsar site planning and management. Finally, this Goyder research project is producing published results in journal articles and book chapters focusing on the outcomes discussed above and contributions to Indigenous literature dealing with governance and nation-building and posthumanist philosophy and cultural theory. The ECD research has contributed to the NRA/DEWNR submission to the International Riverprize 2016 in India – as 2015 Australian winners.