Facebook Live Event: Sustainability of indigenous knowledge, a winning combination

Tune in to the livestream on the SRI2021 Facebook page on August 13 from 3:30pm Brisbane time (check your local time).

According to the United Nations, there are 476 million indigenous peoples in the world living across 90 countries. Indigenous peoples own, manage, use or occupy at least a quarter of the world’s land, with their territories harboring much of the global biodiversity, says The Nature Conservancy. While ecosystem degradation is happening everywhere, experts say that nature is degrading less quickly in indigenous managed areas.

Sunday 9 August, 2020 is the International day of the World’s Indigenous People. It is a day to raise awareness of the invaluable role of indigenous knowledge in sustainability research. Through accessing traditional knowledge, researchers gain valuable insights into sustainable landscape management that may not have been considered otherwise.

In order to design and implement solutions to conserve biodiversity across diverse ecosystems, it is essential that we draw upon indigenous people’s knowledge and engage their contributions as Nature’s First Defenders. High biodiversity is not only good for natural ecosystems but for urban environments as well, humanity’s existence on Earth would not be possible without the balance biodiversity offers. Yet, biodiversity conservation is often considered too ‘expensive’.

In our next live event, we’ll discuss a roadmap to solve this conundrum. We welcome our expert panel:

  • Mazzella Maniwavie, Mangrove Scientist, Papua New Guinea
  • Robyn James, Gender Advisor at The Nature Conservancy for the Asia Pacific
  • Oliver Costello, Bundjalung man and CEO of, Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation
  • Cathy Robinson, Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO
  • Moderated by Sara Phillips, Executive Editor, Asia-Pacific, Partnership and Custom Media at Nature Research

The event will look at two case studies, Women Guardians of the Mangroves and the Empowering Indigenous leadership in cultural burning and land management.

Women Guardians of the Mangroves

Mazzella Maniwavie and Robyn James will discuss how women in Papua New Guinea are joining forces to lead change for their communities and environment through mangrove conservation. Mangroves are not only nurseries for various aquatic animals, they also protect against erosion and are a vital source of food and income security for communities in PNG.

Building Climate Resilience through Indigenous fire management

Cathy Robinson and Oliver Costello will be discussing the practical options available to empower Indigenous leaders and fire and land management practitioners and improve Australia’s climate resilience.

RSVP your virtual seat today to join the discussion addressing key questions around ownership of biodiversity conservation, benefits of accessing indigenous knowledge, the involvement of indigenous peoples in decision-making and what actions we need to take to tackle biodiversity conservation at the local and national scale.

Don’t miss it!

This event is an initiative of the PARSEC project, preparatory to their session at SRI2021, and funded by the Belmont Forum as part of its Collaborative Research Action on Science-Driven e-Infrastructures Innovation.


For enquiries, contact Alison Specht, Honorary Associate Professor, University of Queensland.

Photos: Bachellier Christian and Stephen Mitchell.