Statement to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people

from NRM North on behalf of the Northern NRM region of Tasmania

We acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people are the Traditional Owners of the land we live and work on. We respect and value the strong physical and spiritual links Aboriginal people have with country and acknowledge their custodianship of the islands that make up Tasmania for over 1,600 generations (over 40,000 years).

Many of the patterns we see in the region’s natural landscapes have been shaped by Aboriginal water, coast, marine and land-use practices (especially the use of fire), and the region contains globally significant living cultural landscapes. European settlement has resulted in considerable injustice for Aboriginal people, and the introduction of European land management practices has impacted on natural and cultural assets and has left a legacy that we are all working to improve today.

There is a need to increase consideration of Aboriginal cultural heritage and knowledge in natural resource management, and to develop better understanding of the cultural, environmental, social and economic dimensions of the region’s natural resources from the perspective of Aboriginal people.

During the development of this Strategy, many NRM stakeholders and members of the wider community articulated that they wanted to see the inclusion of Aboriginal heritage knowledge, protection and conservation in natural resource management. They also wished for a commitment to elevate the capacity of Aboriginal people and Aboriginal heritage and cultural assets. In response to this, the Strategy includes targets focused on incorporating Aboriginal cultural heritage and knowledge in relation to management of land, water, biodiversity and coastal assets and facilitating the participation of Aboriginal people in natural resource management activities.

We will focus on implementing this Strategy in partnership with Aboriginal people. This will involve building relationships and mutual understanding, providing planning support, utilising and respecting Aboriginal ecological and cultural knowledge, building natural resource management capacity and delivering on-ground activities together.