Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Planning and Environmental Decision Making: The Role of Community-Based Impact Assessments (IndKnow)

The main goal of the project Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Planning and Environmental Decision Making: The Role of Community-Based Impact Assessments (IndKnow) is to show how decision-makers can respect and include Indigenous knowledge (IK) systems in land and marine based planning processes, environmental decision making and other decision-making processes that may impact Indigenous peoples.

We believe that including IK into environmental decision-making processes will mean better planning decisions, which, in turn, will mean better results for the environment and Indigenous livelihoods. We will therefore look into ways that can increase the inclusion of IK in marine and land-use planning decisions. We will do this by studying both standard (state-led) and community-led impact assessment processes. We will also further develop tools e.g. through participatory GIS mapping technologies and community-based impact assessments (CBIA), and find concrete ways of including this knowledge into planning and environmental decision-making. We will draw upon examples of best practice in CBIA and will combine IK systems with western scientific research methods from the natural and social sciences. The research will be divided into three work packages that will reflect three key geographical and temporal scales in marine and land-use planning decisions. The first will look into the incorporation of IK into broader strategic planning processes. The second will shift the scale of analysis and explore the incorporation of IK systems in discrete resource development projects. The third will explore the extent to which IK systems can influence, and be incorporated, into planning approvals for concerning the extension and decommissioning of existing discrete projects.  Finally, a fourth work package will bring together all the research knowledge produced through the above three work-packages and provide transnational and international case study comparisons.