Appendix B2 - Recommended National Environmental Standard for Indigenous Engagement and Participation in Decision-Making
Recommended National Environmental Standards
Appendix B to the Final Report sets out in detail 4 recommended National Environmental Standards that were developed by the Review following consultation with science, Indigenous, environmental and business stakeholders and with input from technical experts.
National Environmental Standard for Indigenous engagement and participation in decision-making
This recommended National Environmental Standard has been prepared relying on the inputs of Indigenous leaders and non-Indigenous practitioners who have contributed to the Review.
This recommended National Environmental Standard should be immediately adopted as an initial Standard. Following this, and in line with the principles of this Standard, it should be refined through a process led by the Indigenous Advisory Committee.
Indigenous Australians are empowered to be engaged and participate in decision-making, and their views and knowledge are respectfully and transparently considered in the legislative and policy processes that support the protection and management of the environment under the EPBC Act.
Monitoring and Reporting
The Indigenous Advisory Committee will:
National Environmental Standards should be reviewed and updated regularly, including when there are substantive changes to the EPBC Act or relevant administrative arrangements.
This Standard should be applied in conjunction with all other relevant National Environmental Standards.
Cultural awareness and competency: means (but is not limited to) understanding that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the health and wellbeing of Country and people are all one, protocols are important, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, knowledge and obligations to Country are diverse. Cultural competence includes knowing when to leave in the event of ‘sorry business’ or other significant cultural events.
Engaged or engagement: is a sustained process that provides Indigenous Australians with the opportunity to actively participate in decision-making from the outset of defining the problem to be solved and which continues during the development of policies, programs or projects and the evaluation of outcomes.
Existing national, state/territory legal frameworks: includes, but is not limited to, legislation relating to native title rights and interests, statutory land rights (whether established by statute, grant, transfer or Trust) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage protection.
Indigenous Australians: includes individuals that identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, representative organisations of Indigenous communities, Traditional Owners or Native Title holders including legislative (i.e. Prescribed Body Corporate entities under the Native Title Act 1993) and non-legislative bodies. Engagement may need to involve more than one group of representatives, dependent on the scale of the activity.
Right to initiate: noting that the onus is on the relevant proponent or decision maker to undertake engagement where it is a requirement.
Self-determine: consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Articles 1-8.
Two-way transfer of knowledge: involves ensuring access to western-scientific information and methodologies for Indigenous Australians, and the recording and use of Indigenous knowledge by organisations in accordance with agreed protocols. Additionally, it involves acknowledging the importance of developing respectful and meaningful relations with Indigenous Australians in order to provide opportunities for Indigenous people to be fully involved in the protection and management of the environment.
Supplementary navigation and content
- Key messages
- Executive summary
- About the Review
- Chapter 1 - National-level protection and conservation of the environment and iconic places
- Chapter 2 - Indigenous culture and heritage
- Chapter 3 - Reducing legislative complexity
- Chapter 4 - Trust in the EPBC Act
- Chapter 5 - Interactions with States and Territories
- Chapter 6 - Commonwealth decisions and interactions with other Commonwealth laws
- Chapter 7 - Accreditation, audit and independent oversight
- Chapter 8 - Planning and restoration
- Chapter 9 - Compliance and enforcement
- Chapter 10 - Data, information and systems
- Chapter 11 - Environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting
- Chapter 12 - The reform pathway
- Appendix A - Stakeholders the Reviewer met with
Appendix B - Recommended National Environmental Standards
- Appendix B1 - Recommended National Environmental Standards for Matters of National Environmental Significance
- Appendix B1 - Overarching MNES Standard
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standard for World Heritage
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standards for National Heritage
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standards for Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar wetlands)
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standard for Threatened Species and Ecological Communities
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standard for Migratory Species
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standard for Commonwealth Marine Environment
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standard for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standard for Protection of the Environment from Nuclear Actions
- Appendix B1 - Matter-specific Standard for Protection of Water Resources from Coal Seam Gas Development and Large Coal Mining Development
- Appendix B2 - Recommended National Environmental Standard for Indigenous Engagement and Participation in Decision-Making
- Appendix B3 - Recommended National Environmental Standard for Compliance and Enforcement
- Appendix B4 - Recommended National Environmental Standard for Data and Information
- Further reading