Aboriginal Principles For Sustainable Development


The Australian Aborigines sustained their societies on their island continent into our days for at least 40,000 years, possibly as long as 60,000 years. This makes their society model both one of the earliest we know and their sustainability record possibly the longest that we have evidence of. In contrast, the Western exploitation or mining paradigm has brought Australian society to a perilous state in less than 200 years. Insights into how one of the Aboriginal peoples organised their societies to survive on a naturally fragile continent therefore has a value – also for societies today, because the Australian continent can be seen as a bellwether for the planet as a whole, which arguably is rapidly becoming more fragile. By deriving the governing principles behind the Australian Aboriginal gardening paradigm the paper aims to contribute to the reform stream in the sustainable development debate.

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