Capturing Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Torres Strait

World Indigenous Network

Protecting and preserving cultural and ecological knowledge for the future is important. The Torres Strait Regional Authority has recently developed and piloted a traditional knowledge database working with members of the Boigu Prescribed Body Corporate and the Malu Ki'ai Rangers. The database allows communities to record and store important documents, videos, photos, stories, practices, locations, special and sacred sites, areas and tracks, and hunting places among other cultural and natural values. With the use of technology, communities can ensures knowledge is maintained within a framework for protecting culturally sensitive information. An important objective of the TEK project is the sharing of cultural and ecological knowledge with young people and for future generations to carry on their cultural practices. A collaborative approach to deliver the project involves ranger groups, an external consultant for training and financial support from the Torres Strait Regional Authority. Ranger groups benefit from the mix of traditional knowledge and western science to manage their land and sea country in a sustainable manner. This presentation will discuss the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Project, the expansion to other interested communities, the lessons learnt and the reasons for its success.


McGrath, Vic & Nelson Gibuma. Capturing Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Torres Strait. World Indigenous Network. Darwin, Australia. May 28, 2013. Video. (, accessed April 15, 2015)