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The North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) and CSIRO, in collaboration with the philanthropic arm of an Australian telecommunications company, an American computer company, the Resilient Landscapes Hub of the National Environmental Sciences Program (NESP ) from the Australian government and the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship Program, unveiled the initiative which enables local Indigenous Rangers to work with scientists and tech specialists to learn and use new inclusive AI and digital skills to monitor the health of their country.

With a focus on digital inclusion, the collaboration will see Indigenous rangers, tech companies and national research organizations working together to co-design a digital skills training program that will deliver environmental, cultural and economic benefits. local indigenous communities and land management.

The North Australian Lands and Seas Management Alliance (NAILSMA) today announced a unique partnership between leading research institutes of digital technology and communications companies and indigenous organizations to bring technology to point in the bush.

A new training program will build on the award-winning Healthy Country AI partnership co-developed with Traditional Owners, NESP Scientists and Microsoft, which is a unique global program that combines responsible artificial intelligence and modern science with traditional knowledge to solve a problem. complex environmental management. problems and care for animal species and habitats.

Photo: Interactive data dashboard to explore changes in weed cover after management. Source: CSIRO, Press release

The CEO of NAILSMA welcomed this increase in funding for the AI from healthy countries partners and says this initiative will advance the important data collection and work that Indigenous Rangers are already doing.

He noted that for indigenous land managers, the success of a new technology is measured by its application in the field. We want this technology to provide native rangers with useful solutions to the problems they have identified.

If these are basic digital literacy skills that rangers want, then this is what will be created, until the introduction of advanced training modules such as drone surveying, collecting and storing this important data using specialized software, he added.

Five indigenous organizations will help develop this program by working across Cape York and the Northern Territory, managing over 3 million hectares of globally significant ecosystems and cultural landscapes. Now, work can also be done directly with these 5 indigenous organizations and prioritize values ​​for their country.

Modern partnerships require new skills for indigenous peoples and their partners, and we need to think carefully about the role of technology in the country. Advances in digital technology can help transform the way indigenous land managers look after the country.

The operations manager of one of the local groups that is committed to integrating the training into their day-to-day operations noted that the training program is important to ensure that people are doing all elements of this work, activities from land management to data management and reporting.

The philanthropic arm of an Australian telecom, in collaboration with an American IT company and the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship program, is proud to support this training initiative.

The foundation director noted that the First Nations people of Australia have successfully innovated for tens of thousands of years to create environmental, wellness and cultural outcomes. The partnership aims to work together to improve digital skills so that more First Nations communities can use digital technologies in their country-taking activities, in accordance with the wisdom of traditional indigenous knowledge systems, a she declared.

Dr Justin Perry (NAILSMA), Dr Cathy Robinson (Australian National Science Agency, CSIRO) and Dr Jennifer Macdonald (CDU-CSIRO) will coordinate the digital field training for the Healthy Country Surveillance Program, which will be co- designed to adapt to local contexts and enable indigenous rangers to develop essential digital skills for future work on the country.

This collaboration will enable Indigenous Rangers to pilot and develop AI and digital support tools to support evidence-based decisions about their country and also provide essential digital skills for future work on the country.

It was noted that a critical aspect of this effort is that custodians and indigenous scientists work together to develop new ways and skills to apply indigenous science and knowledge to produce practical solutions for the conservation of valuable ecosystems. The initiative will run steadily over the next two years, and a review of the initiative will help create a model that rangers across the country can adopt.


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