Return to Our Programs

Australian Network for Earth-centred Communities (ANEC)

A movement of people building Local Community Eco-governance: community led, local/place based, Earth-centred governance across Australia

About the Australian Network for Earth-centred Communities (ANEC)

The Australian Network for Earth-centred Communities (ANEC) was created by AELA in October 2020, to support Community Eco-governance and connect place-based community groups and organisations, who wish to:

  • raise awareness in their community about Earth-centred governance - including how to build Earth-centred law, economics, education and culture change, informed by Indigenous knowledge and western science;
  • work in solidarity with local Indigenous peoples and traditional custodians, to advocate for the understanding of and respect for Indigenous First Laws, and advocate for greater local decision making power to Care for Country;
  • advocate for long term systems change in Australia's law and governance system, so local people have a greater role in managing their own ecological and economic health;
  • strengthen their capacity to transition to a socially just, locally driven, Earth-centred economic future, and
  • strengthen their governance authority to protect and actively care for their local ecosystems, catchments and bioregions
  • strengthen local communities' ability to stop unwanted, destructive developments in their local region

How can your group join ANEC?

Please email and let us know you'd like more information. We'll be in touch!

What is Community Eco-Governance?

Community Eco-Governance is where people work together in a local region (eg Aboriginal nation, bioregion, sub-bioregion, catchment or ecosystem), to:

  • create their own, culturally and environmentally unique Earth-centred governance structures (shared rules, institutions and citizens assemblies) to Care for Country and Care for Kin (care for each other), and
  • advocate to all levels of Australian government, for permanent systems change and structural reform, so local Indigenous and non-indigenous communities have greater decision making power over the way their region is governed

AELA's Toolkit for Community Eco-governance

Groups who join the Network, work with AELA to explore different elements of the 'Community Eco-Governance Toolkit', which includes a range of community building and advocacy 'steps' and tools.

Participating groups are encouraged to get involved with any or all of these activities:

  • Connect – interested community members, groups and organisations in the local bioregion or catchment
  • Work in solidarity - if initial place-based members of the ANEC are non-Indigenous, developing strong relationships with local Aboriginal peoples and organisations is a critical first step
  • Explore - the flaws in the current legal system, learn how to decolonise and explore the positive opportunities that Earth Laws, Earth jurisprudence, and First Laws can offer
  • Redesign - community based rules and governance, based on unique place-based approaches and Indigenous First Laws and leadership
  • Strengthen – relationships between groups within the community
  • Declare/Assert – positive intentions and goals, including Community Declarations for the rights and protection of local ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Assess – the ecological health of local ecosystems and the bioregion, and create scenarios for the future, based on Earth-centred values and approaches. AELA works in partnership with multiple conservation and other organisations and draws on its own programs:
    • The Greenprints Initiative, which includes scientists, planners and practitioners in the New Economy Network Australia – assessing economic transitions
    • Australian Peoples’ Tribunal – to investigate specific issues, eg logging, other
  • Keep building - the local network – invite new groups, organisations, local businesses and the Local Council to explore scenarios and objectives
  • Refine the redesign! Keep exploring and refining community based rules and governance, based on unique place-based approaches and Indigenous peoples' leadership
  • Prioritise - scenarios, transitions, core values and objectives
  • Quantify - what new economic transitions might look like, to ensure long term bioregional eco-sustainability
  • Hold Citizens Assemblies to assist with community discussions and decisions about priorities and ways forward
  • Advocate together for change - including long term systems change and reform of laws and institutions
  • Begin implementing - all those measures that can implemented, within the available resources and structures

Members of our Network (so far):

Communities who are part of ANEC -

Contact Us

If you would like further information about, or express interest in joining, the ANEC, please email us -