Most of the planet’s vital ecosystems are managed on lands owned by Indigenous peoples. Indigenous people face many challenges in managing these lands, including rapidly growing threats causing species extinctions and ecosystem losses. In response, many Indigenous groups are looking for ethical ways to use multiple sources of evidence to solve complex environmental management problems. Drawing on action co-research and face-to-face interviews, I reflect on a collaboration that applied Indigenous data governance and knowledge sharing protocols to bring together Indigenous knowledge (IK) and artificial intelligence (AI) to adaptively manage weeds impacting the Nardab Ramsar listed wetlands in Australia’s Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage area listed for its natural and cultural values.
Cathy Robinson is a geographer based at CSIRO in Australia and is interested in the design of scientifically rigorous and socially robust decision-support frameworks that are capable of translating scientific and local knowledge into environmental policy decision making in addition to the barriers and opportunities facing Indigenous people in their efforts to contribute to environmental planning objectives and receive co-benefits from the delivery of carbon and water management projects.