Indigenous-led knowledge and response to climate change

First Nations Peoples in Australia have been responding to climate variability and environmental change for millennia. With climate change rapidly threatening Country and communities, climate change science can help to supplement traditional knowledge and help First Nations’ organisations to continue to care for Country.

Through co-design and Indigenous-led principles, and through the planning and delivery of the 2021 National First Peoples Gathering on Climate Change, the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub began a process to create strong, respectful and lasting relationships with First Nations Peoples. The Climate Systems Hub is further developing the relationships between our researchers and Indigenous communities. We’re ensuring Indigenous leadership, cultural protocols and co-design principles continue to evolve. Together, we’re exploring opportunities to support Indigenous-led adaptation projects.

We’re also investigating and identifying gaps in understanding of the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on Country, and their consequences – both cultural and environmental. We’re using a collaborative, Indigenous-led research approach to examine Indigenous perspectives of risks to better inform adaptation priorities and appropriate response options for Indigenous communities.

Working with Indigenous stakeholders, this project will produce a co-developed case study approach and collaboration framework for working with Traditional Owners on climate science and adaptation activities. The project will also undertake activities to build capacity in Indigenous communities to understand their climate risk and plan how to respond in a way that is locally appropriate and relevant.

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