CASE STUDY 5.5: Indigenous perspectives of climate risk
Indigenous peoples in Australia form the majority of populations in many remote highly vulnerable environments where climate change impacts on their country are already evident, including extreme weather events, climate variability and sea level change. For all Indigenous peoples in Australia, and most globally, climate change compounds over-arching issues of socio-economic disadvantage, chronic poor health, and the burdens of the colonial history of dispossession and hostile policy settings, which often are of more immediate concern in Indigenous peoples’ lives. Indigenous peoples bring a particular perspective of climate risk related to their particular socio-economic, historical, political, cultural and environmental circumstances.
Recognising that this results in perceptions that are often specific to communities and their cultures, places and regions with distinctive community values, resource and policy circumstances, we’re working with Indigenous peoples on two-way sharing of climate risk that will contribute to place-based risk reduction strategies. Our focus is on two case studies: one in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area in Western Australia and another with Central Land Council Ranger Groups community in Central Australia.
Understanding these risk perceptions can potentially set the foundation for new pathways of research collaboration to better tailor climate science and information to meet Indigenous communities.
Completed: June 2021
More information: Mandy Hopkins, ESCC Hub Knowledge Broker
Publications and products
- Lyons, I. Harkness, N. Raisbeck-Brown and Malgana Aboriginal Corporation Board, Rangers, and Malgana Elders. 2021. Indigenous perspectives of risk: Learning and sharing knowledge for climate change. Workshop report 8 -12 March 2021. Denham, Western Australia. Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub Report No. 30. Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub, Australia | Full report
- Lyons I and Harkness PL. 2021 Sources of resilience, vulnerabilities and uncertainties in Indigenous Peoples’ adaptative capability to climate change: A synthesis from recent literature. Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub Report No. 31. Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub, Australia | Full report
- Hill, R et al. 2020. Knowledge co-production for Indigenous adaptation pathways: Transform post-colonial articulation complexes to empower local decision-making, Global Environmental Change, 65, doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102161 | Full paper