A paper by a group of academic institutions and environmental NGOs has found the expansion of tribal land rights is the most cost-effective way to protect forests and sequester carbon. The paper highlights the importance of not only secure property rights but also the consideration of social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits from natural resources.

Whilst the research is primarily focused on climate change, and the idea of a ‘triple-bottom line’ approach to resource management is not exactly new, there could be some interesting lessons for Victoria.

Victoria’s recently released ‘Water for Victoria’ plan has a strong focus on recognising and managing water for Aboriginal values. Broadening the way we think about what Victoria wants to achieve from the management of our resources will allow investors to consider all the values and benefits that may be gained from different waterway management approaches. 

This approach may lead to better investment decisions. Importantly it also has the potential to increase the amount governments are willing to invest by giving them increased confidence their investments will provide a sound return for the community.