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Open AccessArticle

Indigenous Land and Sea Management Programs (ILSMPs) Enhance the Wellbeing of Indigenous Australians

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College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University and the Cairns Institute, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
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College of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7005, Australia
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College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University and CSIRO Land and Water, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
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College of Business, Law and Governance and the Indigenous Education and Research Centre, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
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Indigenous Education and Research Centre, James Cook University and the Cairns Institute, Cairns, QLD 4870, Australia
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PO Box 1115, Derby, WA 6728, Australia
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PO Box 264, Fitzroy Crossing, WA 6765, Australia
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Hort St, Mareeba, QLD 4880, Australia
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Great Northern Highway, St George Ranges, WA 6728, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010125
Received: 7 October 2019 / Revised: 24 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 December 2019 / Published: 23 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health and Well-Being of Indigenous People)
Conservation and environmental management have been reported as offering opportunities to substantially improve the wellbeing of Indigenous people. Using the holistic wellbeing impact evaluation (W-IE) approach—well suited for use in Indigenous communities—we interviewed 190 Indigenous Australians across four communities. All communities were involved in the Indigenous land and sea management programs (ILSMPs). Our study explored the conceptualisation of ‘wellbeing’ by participants. In particular, we were interested in the aspects of wellbeing perceived to be affected by ILSMPs. Out of the 26 wellbeing factors explored, ‘Health centres’; ‘Language’; ‘Schools’; and ‘Safe community’ emerged as being of highest importance to the largest percentage of the respondents. When grouped using principle components analysis (PCA), the ‘Community and society’ domain emerged as the most important; accounting for 52% of the overall importance of all wellbeing factors. The second most important domain was the ‘Country and culture’, contributing 31%. Lastly, ‘Economic aspects’ contributed only 17%. Respondents believed that ILSMPs have played a considerable causal role in improving wellbeing, by positively changing factors most important to them. Specifically, 73% of perceived causal links were related to improvements in the ‘Country and Culture’ and 23% to ‘Community and Society’ domain. We thus conclude that land management for Indigenous people is much more than ecological or environmental management with ILSMPs, perceived to cause a wide range of cultural and social benefits. We also propose ways in which the future design of such programs could be improved to further increase benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: Indigenous land and sea management programs; wellbeing; impact evaluation; environment; country Indigenous land and sea management programs; wellbeing; impact evaluation; environment; country
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Larson, S.; Stoeckl, N.; Jarvis, D.; Addison, J.; Grainger, D.; Watkin Lui, F.; Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation; Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC; Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC; Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC. Indigenous Land and Sea Management Programs (ILSMPs) Enhance the Wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 125.

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