A comparative analysis of co-management agreements for national parks: Gwaii Haanas and Uluru Kata Tjuta
Sadler, Karen L.
Co-management agreements for land and resource management can be viewed as emerging forms of a participatory planning model. They strive for equal aboriginal involvement and result not only in more equitable management strategies, but also incorporate aboriginal worldviews and traditional knowledge. This type of planning model is an iterative learning process for all parties involved and is most effective when mechanisms and processes to develop a co-management agreement are situational and contextually appropriate to each location and aboriginal group involved. Co-management agreements should be valued as interim forms that bridge restrictions on and exclusion of aboriginal peoples’ use and influence in relation to land and natural resources, on one side, and complete control through self-government, on the other. This practicum assesses levels of co-management for two case studies by: reviewing relevant literature, analyzing the co-management agreements and plans of management and surveying key personnel at Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia and the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in Canada. The study does conclude that the degree of involvement of aboriginal participation is still wanting, but is higher than it would be if no such framework had been applied. To achieve the full benefits of equality in power distribution, the author suggests that co-management at the highest level should be negotiated either within or as part of land claims agreement or as part of a land title transfer to traditional owners.
co-management agreements, participatory planning, aboriginal, Uluru - Kata Tjuta, Gwaii Haanas, protected area management