Title: Environmental conservation and Aboriginal knowledge in Australia

Authors: Phillippa Cordwell

Addresses: School of Humanities, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC NSW 1797, Australia

Abstract: The discourse of the movement for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is changing from one that is focused on supporting Indigenous social change, to one of developing non-Indigenous appreciation of Indigenous history and culture, which has its context in a specific relationship to land. Could a project that develops appreciation for the traditional Aboriginal relationship to land, and the knowledge arising there from, benefit both the environmental movement and the reconciliation movement? The contributions of four Australian academics on this topic are reviewed in this paper. All point to the need for new epistemological approach to environmental science, both in order to appreciate and incorporate Aboriginal knowledge, and to reembody scientific knowledge and the human being within the natural environment from where they arise. An introduction to Goethean phenomenology is taken from the work of Jochan Bochemuehl. This is offered as a new epistemological approach that affords a dialogue between the scientific community and Aboriginal groups in |caring for country|.

Keywords: environmental conservation; Aboriginal knowledge; reconciliation; relationships to land; joint management; both ways learning; decolonisation; reenchantment; renarrativisation; history; culture; Goethean phenomenology; Australia; indigenous peoples; cultural awareness; environmental science; Aborigines.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2009.024992

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2009 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.258 - 269

Published online: 06 May 2009 *

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