The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of our nation and acknowledges their deep connection to Australia’s landscapes and wildlife since time immemorial.
TNC has supported Indigenous-led conservation and management of land and sea country in Australia for many years.
We work with Indigenous partners to establish and manage Indigenous Protected Areas. Guided by our partners’ Traditional Knowledge, we also provide support and resources to help communities make decisions that look after Country, provide a strong future and livelihood for people and communities, and implement land management practices guided by both traditional ecological knowledge and western scientific knowledge. Our science shows that outcomes are stronger for nature and for people when Indigenous people lead decisions on how to care for Country.
Through our partnerships, we have built strong relationships with communities across various parts of Australia. That’s how we know that among our partners, there is no unified position on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
We acknowledge that people’s individual stories and circumstances inform a multitude of opinions on the referendum and reflect the diversity of Australia’s social fabric, including within Indigenous communities.
Acknowledging our partners’ concerns, we think an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice enshrined in the Constitution is a step towards better informed decision-making. It is a pragmatic move which cannot be undone and which, in agreement with The Uluru Statement of the Heart, that will pave the way towards Treaty and Truth.
We will continue to work with and be guided by all our Indigenous partners on how they want to manage Country to address the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss while delivering positive outcomes for people.