Why a strategy?
The NIFS proposes that Indigenous communities participate in building competitive and ecologically sustainable forest industries. Participation in these industries can help communities in many parts of Australia become more economically and socially independent, and develop standing in the wider community, while staying connected to their cultural values.
The forest and wood products industry can provide significant economic and social opportunities for Indigenous Australians and gain considerable benefits itself from working with Indigenous communities. The recent consultations with Indigenous communities, and the forestry industry, identified many ways they can become more involved in a range of activities, from timber growing, harvesting and processing to growing bush tucker.
However, at present, there are very few Indigenous communities involved in the Australian forest and wood products industry.
The NIFS will help Indigenous communities become more economically independent, and will also benefit the forestry sector.
What are the benefits?
For Indigenous communities
- increased economic and social independence
- more jobs in the forest and forest products industry and
- more say in managing resources and developing policy.
For the forest and wood products industry
- opportunities to develop business partnerships with Indigenous Australians
- a more diverse workforce; greater awareness of Indigenous culture and rewarding social partnerships, and
- an expanded and diversified resources base.
For the wider community
- sustainable forest and plantation management, and
- active participation of Indigenous communities in new economic and social partnerships.