Developing an Indigenous-to-Indigenous standard for assessing environmental, social and cultural values

Thursday, 7 June 2018
Rowan Foley
Lisa McMurray

There is an emerging body of evidence around the disempowerment of Indigenous people from traditional western project management approaches including monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanisms. The ‘Indigenous to Indigenous’ approach is an alternative to the Eurocentric audit mindset that underpins most western M&E.

The Indigenous standard differs from existing M&E approaches due to the Indigenous led philosophy that sees Aboriginal rangers and Traditional Owners becoming the ‘experts’ in the identification, data collection and analysis of social, cultural and environmental values of carbon projects. Independence and rigour is built into the verification through using Aboriginal Rangers and Traditional Owners from other regions who have been trained in a nationally accredited 5 day course and equipped with specifically designed ‘tools’ including an app.

The most exciting outcome of this approach is the agency, skills and confidence the standard builds with rangers and Traditional Owners, particularly living in remote areas, around M&E.

The Aboriginal Carbon Fund will seek International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling (ISEAL) Alliance registration internationally for the Indigenous standard and a number of First Nations in Canada and New Zealand are interested in this Indigenous led approach.