The ECD and RIS update for the Kakadu National Park Ramsar site was prepared over a 12 month period. The commission involved the formation of a Steering Committee to oversee development and review of the draft and final documents and a Knowledge Management Committee to provide expert input to the consultant project team about the site’s ecological character.
A1 Steering Committee
A Steering Committee was created as part of the project and was chaired by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Steering Committee meetings undertaken during the project prior to submission of the final draft document included:
23 July 2009
Provide overview of the scope of the project including the National Framework; discuss the draft critical services/benefits, component and processes.
Face to Face
Presentation of the draft ECD for comment including overview of the structure, content and key findings of the document.
Discussion on comments received on the Draft Final ECD and how these were to be addressed.
A2 Knowledge Management Committee
A Knowledge Management Committee (KMC) workshop was held on 6 August 2009 in Darwin. The agenda for the day consisted of a general presentation to provide an overview of the site and the methods to be used in preparing the ecological character description (based on the National Framework and Guidance).
The main focus of the day was a series of workshop style exercises that aimed to elicit from the KMC representatives:
Advice about the critical services/benefits that flow from the Nomination Criteria for the site including the noteworthy threatened flora and fauna species, important habitat features and services (for example, breeding, roosting, feeding) and similar matters.
Advice about the critical services/benefits that are derived from human use or association with the site such as indigenous significance, fishing, recreational, tourism and similar activities (in a workshop setting).
Advice about the wetland processes (for example, hydrodynamics, water quality, etc) that underpin the wetland components in each of the conceptual model areas. This was important to identify the most ‘critical’ processes that underlie wetland values in the study area and form the basis for future analysis of natural variability and limits of acceptable change.
Advice about any perceived changes to ecological character of the site since listing and identification of previous or current threats to ecological character of the site (using a whiteboard exercise).
Notes on the key outcomes and comments made during the workshops are summarised in a progress report submitted to DSEWPAC during executation of the project.
A3 Stakeholder Consultation
Following on from the KMC workshop, a consultation meeting was held at Jabiru with key stakeholders and traditional owners. The consultation program had the following objectives:
To engage with and consult key stakeholders and traditional owners in appropriate forums.
To empower key stakeholders and traditional owners to provide input into the study and for BMT WBM to gather information about key aspects of ecological character from the key stakeholders and traditional owners.
To engender a shared understanding and acceptance of key management agencies of the critical natural and cultural services/benefits of the wetlands and the underpinning critical wetland processes and components which characterise the Ramsar values of Kakadu National Park
The specific aims of the consultation meeting were to:
provide information on the study and the process to be followed for development of an ECD
provide a forum for feedback on the outcomes of the KMC workshop including identification of gaps and/or additional ecosystem services, components and processes, threats and ecological character changes that have occurred since listing, and
provide information on ‘what’s next’ for this study.
One half day workshop was held in a central location (Kakadu National Park Headquarters) on the 26th August 2009. While the consultation meeting provided the main forum for consultation, it was recognised that some stakeholders were not able to attend the meeting. A summary sheet was produced which provided background information about the study, the ECD and the RIS, and summarised the outcomes of the KMC workshop and the consultation meeting in Jabiru. Contact details (telephone, post and email) for study team representatives were also provided so that those unable to participate in the consultation meeting could provide information/feedback to the study team.
The workshop was composed of a number of slide show presentations and informal group sessions which discussed various topics. Feedback was sought from participants throughout the workshop. During the workshop, maps were used to illustrate spatial issues and notes were taken to record information provided by participants.
Thirty-six people participated in the workshop, including nineteen Aboriginal people and seventeen non-Aboriginal people. The workshop was interactive and a substantial amount of information was shared by participants with the study team. The study team was also able to share information with participants on Ramsar in general and more specific topics. Topics covered included:
Changes to critical services/benefits and cultural characteristics
Threats to tourism, recreation and cultural values
Notes from the workshop were collated and provided to the DSEWPAC as part of a progress report and used to develop the Kakadu National Park ECD and RIS Update documents.
A large number of people attended the workshop and actively participated in listening to presentations, providing feedback and undertaking group discussion. The information provided will be relevant and useful in preparing the Kakadu National Park ECD and RIS update documents. The study team were also able to inform Kakadu National Park stakeholders about the application of the Ramsar Convention to Kakadu National Park and to learn from participants how this may be most appropriately used by those who manage the Kakadu National Park Ramsar site.
The Kakadu National Park-based workshop fulfilled the objectives of the Kakadu National Park ECD and RIS Update Consultation Strategy by providing information to key stakeholders and Traditional Owners in Kakadu National Park and providing them with an opportunity to contribute to the study in an appropriate forum.