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27-05-2021 | Issue 2/2021

Environmental Management 2/2021

Caring for Indigenous Data to Evaluate the Benefits of Indigenous Environmental Programs

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 2/2021
Authors:
Cathy J. Robinson, Taryn Kong, Rebecca Coates, Ian Watson, Chris Stokes, Petina Pert, Andrew McConnell, Caron Chen
Important notes
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Advances in open data, big data and data linkage allow us to analyse more data and on a larger scale than ever before. However, this brings with it the challenge of ensuring that Indigenous data sets are used in a way that protects Indigenous rights to that data and maximises benefits for Indigenous peoples. The CARE principles for Indigenous data governance—Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility and Ethics—were developed to protect Indigenous data sovereignty, but there are few examples of how to translate these principles into practice. In this paper, we show how these CARE principles can be applied to data collection, integration, analysis and translation practices. Our case study is a project that used data reported by Indigenous ranger groups to capture the multiple benefits of Indigenous land and water management activities. Through this case study, we offer a framework for the design and use of CARE-informed data practices, which can be embedded into project design to enable the ethical and responsible use of Indigenous data to improve Indigenous policies and services. Such practices are critical in the context of ongoing demand for Indigenous data for bureaucratic purposes, and Indigenous interest in using that data to influence management and policy decisions affecting their estates and resources.

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