Indigenous peoples are asserting their right to build their own and be part of contemporary environmental governance structures. This has been a complicated challenge and one overlain with an ongoing fight to combat the legacy of colonisation and reassert sovereignty and rights the world over. This paper examines the role Indigenous peoples play in marine and coastal governance, and discusses some of the current challenges facing them in asserting their rights in marine spaces. We find that there are a range of features which could be described as specific to Indigenous governance, and also that there have been a number of factors that affect, in one way or another, the implementation of both Indigenous driven or co-managed governance in marine spaces. Nonetheless we argue that key features of Indigenous governance and practice not only play a key role in the assertion of Indigenous management of their own marine estates, but also have the potential to contribute to wider marine governance structures.
Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs / Vol. 6, No. 1, pp.27-40