Larrakia-led biodiversity values

Project duration: October 2020 –

Biodiversity is an underappreciated component of Darwin’s liveability, sustainability and resilience. The natural systems and species at our doorstep provide the backdrop to all aspects of life. Larrakia people are the traditional custodians of the greater Darwin region and hold knowledge and insights of Darwin’s biodiversity that are critical to effectively maintain, managing and enhance these assets. With Larrakia leadership, this project aims to provide a baseline assessment of Darwin’s biodiversity, and determine the role biodiversity and green space play across an urban environment that is globally unique. The project will develop a shared understanding of the processes that threaten the persistence of biodiversity in Darwin city, and begin to develop a set of recommendations for approaches aimed at monitoring, maintaining and enhancing urban biodiversity while keeping Darwin cool.

Darwin biodiversity and green space

This Larrakia-led project will consider Darwin’s biodiversity with the aim of identifying important natural and green places around the city. Canvassing residents’ and visitors’ values and perceptions through targeted interviews, an online survey, and through engagement with key stakeholders, the resultant information and activities from the project will be fundamental in the discussion of what type of city we want the future Darwin to be. The project will provide understanding and facilitate action to maintain and enhance the liveability, sustainability and resilience of Darwin. Although biodiversity’s contribution to liveability cannot simply be represented in lists of species, the current project will benchmark what Darwin has to offer in terms of biodiversity in a way that enables comparison with other tropical cities. It will pinpoint components of biodiversity that are particularly valued by the city’s residents. 

Recent interviews have revealed that Darwin’s biodiversity plays an integral role in the socio-cultural and economic well of Larrakia people. Early indications are that development-related impacts on biodiverse sites, and individual species, are significant and have caused a diverse loss of amenity to Larrakia people, as well as contributing to disconnection to place.  

What’s next? 

We are currently analysing the wealth of knowledge shared with us during face-to-face interviews and our online “Biodiversity values of Darwin” survey. We have presented the initial findings at the DLL Symposium (2023) and will provide a link when the recording is available online. Please continue to visit our online survey webpage where will will start to provide some results as we get them or feel free to contact us by the email addresses below. 

Dr Adam Leidloff

Co-Project Leader

Dr Emma Woodward

Co-Project Leader

Lorraine Williams

Larrakia Project Lead