in the Kimberley region of far north Western Australia
Nyikina Mangala Country in the Kimberley region of far north Western Australia © David Hinchley/TNC

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Supporting Traditional Owners plan Development by Design

Nyikina Mangala Development by Design

How do you get the balance right between development and conservation? This question is a reoccurring theme for many land managers. How do you balance the socio-economic aspirations of people seeking to develop lands they manage while at the same time protect the area’s natural and cultural values?

These questions become even more profound when dealing with lands that span vast landscape scales such as those managed by Indigenous Traditional Owners in Australia’s Outback.

Over a number of years, The Nature Conservancy has developed a tool to support land managers facing these issues.  Known as Development by Design, the methodology enables decision makers to include a range of values – environmental, social, cultural and economic – into planning for where large-scale natural resource development projects might best be located.

In partnership with Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation and Nyikina Mangala Traditional Owners in the Kimberley region of far north Western Australia, The Nature Conservancy is using Development by Design to develop a novel framework for the integration of biodiversity, social and cultural values in the environmental impact assessment process.

The Development by Design decision making framework and impact analysis tool is enabling better decision-making and facilitating ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent’ on land use decisions for the Nyikina Mangala people.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we focus on getting things done efficiently and with the greatest positive impact for conservation. We’re a trusted organisation working in 72 countries on innovative solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We’re tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Australia, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.