Is an Indigenous Engagement in Water Resource Management Project that is lead by the NAILSMA(North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance).
The establishment of an Indigenous Community Water Facilitator’s Network is to advance Indigenous engagement in research and management of tropical rivers, water use and water conservation across north Australia. The network is to act as a catalyst to ensure that Indigenous interests are articulated, encouraged and incorporated in water policy. It is envisaged that this network will serve these multiple purposes and work closely with NAILSMA Indigenous Water Policy Group, the NWC and State and Territory governments.
- To establish a catchment based Indigenous Community Water Network or Reference Group;
- Support proactive participation and development of collaborative engagement by Indigenous communities involved in research, planning and a management frameworks for tropical rivers;
- To encourage local communities and collaborative relationships between Indigenous people and other sectors including researcher, government and other land users such as pastoralists, irrigators and developers;
- Promote awareness and understanding amongst Indigenous people of the National Water Initiative;
- Promote awareness amongst non-Indigenous people of Indigenous interests, values, rights and cultural obligations with respect to management of tropical rivers;
- Develop effective tools for the establishment and management of water resource to foster community led research initiatives to achieve quadruple bottom line outcomes – economic, cultural, environmental and social benefits;
- Act as a conduit between communities and the Indigenous Community Water Facilitator Coordinator (at NAILSMA) for those initiatives that are created and implemented specifically through the National Water Initiative;
- Provide a mechanism which a two-way education and training can occur alongside the suite of initiatives operating across the north; and
- Work with relevant agencies towards achieving appropriate water quantity and quality in local Indigenous communities.
Balkanu Indigenous Community Facilitators are focused on two river catchments;
(1) the Mitchell River, and (2) the Wenlock River.
With the increased participation for Indigenous people, the community and key stakeholders across the region for water planning and management, there will be collaborative research that lead to improved plans that recognizes the values and customary regimes held by Traditional Owners and that would demonstrably satisfy Indigenous interests.