• Carly May Boag University of Wollongong




Indigenous, Comparative Study, Adat Law


Indigenous Land Management (ILM) encompasses traditional philosophies and practices of Indigenous people with contemporary scientific techniques to help improve the management and conservation of ecosystems. An effective legal framework for ILM promotes environmental justice by "protecting and fulfilling of human rights through legal empowerment of people"[1] through meaningful participation in environmental decision making from a regional to an international scale, acknowledgment of cultural differences and the equal distribution of environmental benefits[2]. Both Indonesia and Australia were colonised by European powers with devastating effects on the Indigenous people. Since the 1980's there has been increasing international attention surrounding the lack of environmental justice accessible to Indigenous peoples around the world. Regional, national and international legal frameworks are in place in both Australia and Indonesia to promote globally recognised concepts of ILM, however there is a need for more cohesive and integrated approach at all levels of environmental governance. Although there are historical, cultural and economic differences between Australia and Indonesia as well as different legal ideologies, a comparative study of the different legal frameworks surrounding ILM will provide an insight into the benefits and limitations of divergent policy strategies and the best way forward for Indigenous peoples in the Asian-Pacific region.

Author Biography

Carly May Boag, University of Wollongong

Bachelor of Law (LLB) - Bachelor of Science (BSC) Human Geography


A Articles/Books/Reports

Akhtar, Zia ‘Aboriginal Determination: Native Title Claims and Barriers to Recognition’ (2011) 7(2) Law Environment and Development Journal 132 <http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/leadjo7&collection=journals&page=132>

Anton, Donald, Kohout, Jennifer & Pain, Nicola ‘Nationalizing Environmental Protection in Australia: The International Dimensions’ (1993) 23 Environmental Law 763 <http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/envlnw23&collection=journals&page=763>

Arnold, Luke, ‘Deforestation in Decentralised Indonesia: What’s Law Got to Do With it?’ (2008) 4(2) Law Environment and Development Journal 77 <http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/leadjo4&collection=journals&page=75>

Ayari, Ines, ‘The Dynamic between indigenous rights and environmental governance: A preliminary analysis and focus on the impact of climate change governance through the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest degradation (REDD) programme’ (2014) 10(1) International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 81 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=b0c3835e-45ec-43f9-b97e-6fa4b5c5fbc0@sessionmgr112&vid=7&hid=117>

Benxiang Zeng & Rolf Gerristen, ‘Key Issues in Management of Indigenous Protected Areas: A Perspective from Northern Australia’ (2015) 8(3) Global Studies Journal 19 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=b0c3835e-45ec-43f9-b97e-6fa4b5c5fbc0%40sessionmgr112&vid=10&hid=117>

Boer, Ben & Gruber, Stefan Legal Framework for Protected Areas: Australia, International Union for the Conservation of Nature Environmental Policy and Law Paper No 81 (2010) <https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/edocs/eplp-081.pdf>

Davidson, Jamie & Henley, David The Revival of Traditional in Indonesian Politics. The Deployment of Adat from Colonialism to Indigenism (Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series, 1st ed, 2007)

Derrida, Jacques Positions (2nd ed, Continuum London, 2004)

Goldstein, Nicholas, ‘Indigenous Land Rights in National Parks: The United States, Canada and Australia compared’ (2013) 9(2) Macquarie Journal of International and Comparative Environmental Law 65 <http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/macqjice9&id=165&collection=journals>

Hitchner, Sarah ‘Heart of Borneo as ‘Jalan Tikus’: Exploring the Links Between Indigenous Rights, Extractive and Exploitative Industries and Conservation at the World Conservation Congress 2008’ (2010) 8(4) Conservation and Society 320 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=405462b3-58c2-4fef-9927-8a3b8d019d8a%40sessionmgr120&vid=5&hid=117>

Izurieta, Arturo, Sithole, Bevlyne, Stacey, Natasha, Hunter-Xenie, Hmalan, Campbell, Bruce, Donohue, Paul, Brown, Jessie & Wilson, Lincoln ‘Developing Indicators for Monitoring and Evaluating Joint Management Effectiveness in Protected Areas in the Northern Territory’ (2011) 16(3) Australia, Ecology and Science 9 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=405462b3-58c2-4fef-9927-8a3b8d019d8a%40sessionmgr120&vid=8&hid=117>

Jackson, Sue ‘Compartmentalising Culture: The Articulation and Consideration of Indigenous Values in Water Resource Management’ (2006) 37(1) Australian Geographer 19 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=405462b3-58c2-4fef-9927-8a3b8d019d8a%40sessionmgr120&vid=11&hid=117>

Leiboff, Marett & Thomas, Mark Legal Theories Contexts and Practices (Thomas Reuters Australia, 2nd ed, 2014)

Muller, Samantha ‘Towards Decolonisation of Australia’s Protected Area Management: The Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area Experience’ (2003) 41(1) Australian Geographical Studies 29 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=13&sid=405462b3-58c2-4fef-9927-8a3b8d019d8a%40sessionmgr120&hid=117>

Nettheim, Garth, Meyers, Gary & Craig Donna Indigenous Peoples and Governance Structures: A Comparative Analysis of Land and Resource Management Rights (Aboriginal Studies Press for The Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2002) <http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/fullText;dn=408340972336618;res=IELIND>

Nurjaya, Nyoman, ‘Access to ecological justice for the marginalised people of Indonesia: Is it a genuine or pseudo recognition and protection?’ (Paper presented at International Conference on “Access to Justice: Promoting Public Awareness, Participation and Actionâ€, Brawijaya University East Java, 10th to 11th November 2015)

Nurjaya, Nyoman, ‘Ideology of the State in controlling and managing natural environmental and resources: Its Implication to national law development’ (Paper Presented at International Conference on Sumatera Ecosystem Restoration in Comparison: Lesson Learned and Future Challenges, Andalas University Padang, West Sumatera, 24th to 25th October 2011)

Nurjaya, Nyoman, ‘Progressive environmental law of Indonesia: Global principles of Stockholm and Rio declarations as defined within the 2009 Act on Human Environmental Protection and Management’ (2014) 11(1) US-China Law Review 1

Rangan, Haripriya & Lane, Marcus ‘Indigenous Peoples and Forest Management: Comparative Analysis of Institutional Approaches in Australia and India’ (2001) 14(1) Society an Natural Resources 145 <http://www-tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/089419201300000544>

Reider, Jessica ‘An Evaluation of Two Environmental Acts: The National Environmental policy Act and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act’ (2012) 14(1) Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law 105 < http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/apjel14&collection=journals&page=105>

Robinson, Cathy, Gerrard, Emily, May, Tracey & Maclean, Kirsten ‘Australia’s Indigenous Carbon Economy: A National Snapshot’ (2014) 52(2) Geographical Research 123 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=29&sid=405462b3-58c2-4fef-9927-8a3b8d019d8a%40sessionmgr120&hid=117>

Ross, Helen, Grant C, Robinson Cathy, Izurieta, Arturo, Smyth D & Rist, P ‘Co-management and Indigenous Protected Areas in Australia: Achievements and ways forward’ (2009) 16 Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 242 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=31&sid=405462b3-58c2-4fef-9927-8a3b8d019d8a%40sessionmgr120&hid=117>

Sakumoto, Naoyuki ‘Development of Environmental Law and Legal Reform in Indonesia’ in Sakumoto, Naoyuki & Juwana Hikmahanto (eds), Reforming Law and Institutions in Indonesia: An Assessment (Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organisation, 2007) 205

Shearing, Susan, ‘Reforming Australia’s National Heritage Law Framework’ (2012) 8(1) Macquarie Journal of International and Comparative Environmental Law 71 <http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/macqjice8&id=77&collection=journals>

Surharno, Dyah & Friedbery, Claudia, ‘Resource Management Issue: NGOs relate to the new legal framework for local autonomy in Indonesia’ (2003) 55(178) International Social Science Journal 573 <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=405462b3-58c2-4fef-9927-8a3b8d019d8a%40sessionmgr120&vid=37&hid=117>

Szczepanski, Kallie ‘Land Policy and Adat Law in Indonesia’s Forests’ (2002) 11(1) Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal 231 <http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/pacrimlp11&collection=journals&page=231>

Supreme Court of Indonesia (ed), Indonesian Legal System ‘Lecture 2 Readings’ (2005)

Tegnan, Hilaire ‘Legal Pluralism and land administration in West Sumatra: The Implementation of the Regulations of both Local and Ngari Governments on Communal Land Tenure’ (2015) 47(2) Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 312 <http://www-tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/07329113.2015.1072386#abstract>

Wright, Glen ‘Indigenous People and Customary Land Ownership under Domestic REDD+ Frameworks: Case Study of Indonesia’ (2011) 7(2) Law, Environment and Development Journal 119 <http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/leadjo7&collection=journals&page=117>

Xanthaki, Alexandra, ‘Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples in South-East Asia’ (2003) 4(2) Melbourne Journal of International Law 467 <http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/fullText;dn=20052371;res=AGISPT>


Mabo v Queensland (No. 2) 1992 175 CLR 1

Commonwealth v Tasmania (1983) 158 CLR 1


Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Commonwealth)

Australian Constitution

Act No 5 1960 Concerning Basic Regulation for Agrarian Affairs (Indonesia)

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth)

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Undang-Undang Nomor 4 Tahun 1982 Tentang Ketentuan-Ketentuan Pengelolaan Lingkungan Hidup [Law No 4 of 1982 Act Concerning Basic Human Environment] (Indonesia)

Undang-Undang Nomor 32 Tahun 2009 Tentang Perlindungan dan Pengelolaan Lingkungan Hidup [Law No 32 of 2009 Act Concerning Human Environment Protection and Management] (Indonesia)


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The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity opened for signature 5 June 1992 1760 UNTS 79, 31 ILM 818 (entered into force 29 December 1993)

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, GA Res 61/295, UN GAOR, 61st sess, 107th plen mtg, Supp No 49, UN Doc A/RES/61/295 (13 September 2007)

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Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, The Indigenous Protected Area Program: Background Information and Advice to Applicants (2009) Australian Government <http://www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/pubs/ipa/ipa-advice.pdf>

Australian Government Department of the Foreign Affairs and Trade, Development Assistance in Indonesia (2015) Australian Government <http://dfat.gov.au/geo/indonesia/development-assistance/pages/development-assistance-in-indonesia.aspx>

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Indigenous Land Management in Australia: A Summary of the Extent, Barriers and Success Factors (2013) <http://www.daff.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/natural-resources/landcare/submissions/ilm-factsheet.pdf>

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Davies, Robin The Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership: A Murder Mystery, Development Policy Centre Australia <http://devpolicy.org/the-indonesia-australia-forest-carbon-partnership-a-murder-mystery-20150610/>




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