Environmental struggles in Aboriginal homelands: Indigenizing conservation in Australia
  • 1 Emeritus Professor of Environmental Philosophy, La Trobe University, Australia

Many large remaining areas of high conservation value currently lie within Indigenous homelands. The attempts of conservationists to protect such areas from industrial development sometimes come into conflict with the contrary wish of Indigenous populations to benefit from such development. How, in such cases, can the claims of Earth communities to ecological justice be reconciled with those of Traditional Owner communities to Indigenous justice? The dilemma is here examined via a case study, that of a proposed natural gas installation at James Price Point in the far north of Western Australia. It is argued that resolution of the dilemma may require a significant re-visioning of conservation: environmentalists might need to concede to Aboriginal communities the moral ownership of conservation per se, at least in so far as it applies to Aboriginal homelands, and perhaps more widely.

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