Proactive Development Planning for Indigenous Communities

Story from Frank Weisenberger, Frank Weisenberger Consulting, and David Hinchley, The Nature Conservancy

Environmental impact assessments typically focus on the impact of developments on environmental values, specifically biodiversity. Often, they do not adequately consider social and cultural impacts.

A recent article published in the Environmental Impact Assessment Review presents a novel framework that integrates biodiversity and social/cultural values to deliver better conservation outcomes and overcome the separation of the conservation and development planning processes. The Development-By-Design tool builds on Healthy Country Plan targets and threats and uses spatial analysis to report and visualise the impact of a given development footprint. Community-based use of the tool supports Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Communities during development negotiations and helps groups conduct their own internal impact assessment of development proposals.

For more information, check out the related story shared in our CCNet News in 2018 – Incorporating Social, Cultural and Natural Values in Development Decision Making.

Figure below: Nyikina-Mangala Development by Design Project Area, in Australia.