Kuka Kanyini, Australian Indigenous Adaptive Management

  • George Wilson
  • Margaret Woodrow

In some of the remotest regions of central Australia, Anangu Pitjantjatjara are better managing their land and wildlife resources using adaptive management plans. The plans are based on Kuka Kanyini, which means looking after game animals. Kuka Kanyini draws on traditional land management practices and sets out priorities for scientists to work with Indigenous communities to help them manage their lands themselves. Using these plans as a basis, in this chapter we present a Regional Wildlife Adaptive Management Plan template, RWAMP that can be used to guide other Indigenous communities through an adaptive management planning process. To show how the plan works in practice, we review the progress against Angas Downs' adaptive management plan as a case study. The RWAMP plan describes strategies and actions that could be used in a ‘predict, do, learn, describe’ Adaptive Management (AM) cycle. The plan contains science-based proactive wildlife management and supports Indigenous law and culture, and the desire to care for the land. It also helps conserve biodiversity and generate new enterprises such as sales of bushtucker and tourism. Importantly, it has wider implications for helping to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage by providing a focus for training and employment, and improving self esteem and health.


Geographic Information System Adaptive Management Indigenous Community Traditional Ecological Knowledge Wildlife Resource 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Wilson
    • 1
  • Margaret Woodrow
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Wildlife ServicesCanberra

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