Social Justice in the Forest: Aboriginal engagement with Australia's forest industries

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Sue Feary


What remains of Australia’s native forests are important to Aboriginal people for environmental, cultural and economic reasons. Managers of forests in protected areas at State and Commonwealth levels have policies for involving Aboriginal people in forest management and for protecting the intangible and tangible values that Aboriginal people place on forests, but there are limited opportunities for significant economic returns to Aboriginal communities. Outside of conservation reserves, there are native timber production forests on crown land, plantations on private and public land and, forests on Aboriginal land, that offer a range of opportunities for Aboriginal people to engage with forest industries. Cultural traditions and values continue to play a role but they are manifest in different ways, depending on the local situation.

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