Indigenous Water Knowledge & Interests Meeting
International Indigenous Expert Exchange on Emerging Trends in Mainstream Water Management
Northern Territory, Australia (7-8 August 2008)
From 7-8 August 2008, the United Nations University-Insitite of Advanced Studies with the Traditional Knowledge Initiative convened a meeting titled “Indigenous Water Knowledge, Indigenous Water Interests: An International Indigenous Expert Exchange on Issues and Opportunities arising from Emerging Trends in Mainstream Water Management” held at the site of the Garma Festival in Gulkula, Australia.
The purpose of the exchange was to facilitate international collaboration between those with relevant experience and expertises to the relationship between indigenous water knowledge and indigenous interests in water. During the exchange, particular attention was given to issues and opportunities arising from emerging water trading and water property rights regimes, and the increasing recognition by western science of the value of traditional knowledge for natural resource management. The exchange was focused around case studies from various regions of the world, and outputs included a compiled publication of case studies, as well a statement and set of recommendations that will be presented to the World Water Forum in 2009 and other international fora.
Particularly, the objectives of the Exchange were to:
- Reflect on the nexus between indigenous water knowledge and indigenous water interests, and provide an avenue for the international sharing of experiences on issues and opportunities arising from emerging trends in mainstream water management systems. Particular attention will be given to issues arising from emerging water trading and water property rights regimes, and the increasing recognition by western science of the value of traditional knowledge for natural resource management.
- Facilitate discussion around how best to achieve appropriate protection of Indigenous interests in water and exploration of how Indigenous knowledge can be recognised as expert knowledge, so complementing the use of western scientific knowledge in water management systems;
- Facilitate adoption of a statement and a set of recommendations on Indigenous water knowledge and interests that can be taken to the World Water Forum in Turkey, 2009 and to other relevant international fora; and
- Facilitate the development of ongoing informal international networks of indigenous experts engaged in water issues.
See: meeting outcomes
The meeting was convened in collaboration with NAILSMA and the Yothu Yindi Foundation.