In 2012 the Australian Government committed $44 million to Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change through its Clean Energy Future Plan (Australian Government, 2013). NRM or Natural resource management agencies are community based organisations that ....................... This funding was designed to support regional NRM organisations to update their NRM plans by using new regionally synthesised science products that support adaptation responses to climate change . In particular, the funding is intended to guide planning for climate change impacts on the land This paper is based on work undertaken in the Mackay-Whitsunday, one of the four geographically distinct NRM regions in Far North Queensland, grouped in the Wet Tropics Cluster (WTC). The other three NRM regions in the WTC are Wet Tropics, Cape York and the Torres Strait regions.
Support Indigenous Peoples to document their knowledge and share knowledge is necessary first step bigger challenge of engaging with Indigenous processes of knowing about environmental change.
Indigenous groups frame and perceive climate change based on their unique world view, socio-economic context while also engaging with western science and societies.
Climate change intersects with and is likely to exacerbate significant social-economic-institutional barriers to sustainable development in remote/regional Indigenous economies.
Indigenous peoples’ cultural practices, including customary harvesting, rely on access to a range of resources that are likely to be impacted negatively by climate-induced changes including cyclones, storm surge, sea level rise, changed water availability, changes to vegetation patterns and reduction in species’ availability.
-Sources of strength and resilience and transformation in kin relations, decision-making relationships. -Indigenous engagement in natural resource management to respond to climate change is likely to improve health and well-being.
- Local environments have recently become less predictable and readable for some groups, impacting their livelihood.
Why would the Traditional Owners want to work with us? How is climate change important to them and what are the opportunities to both benefit from the project?
Information about the Partners - We didn’t know each other – TIEC, CSIRO, REEF Catchments. Met in a room Staff newly engaging TOs.
We didn’t have the project fully planned out apart from particular resources and some time lines.
Map – Access to and camping on country limited to National Parks and Public areas. Yellow is Grazing and bright green is agricultural cropping, orange is urban
Traditional Owners expressed that : -they share knowledge and values through being on country and working together on country -they didn’t want to talk in a room -different places on country require different management and there are diverse values.
Shock Sense of Loss – Loss of orientation, loss of condition of country, loss of what they thought country looked like, loss of sites, loss to future generations, Loss of influence, Loss of trust (with those who visit country and those managing country), Threat of continuing loss (lack of recognition and awareness of Traditional Owners and their culture and value of country).
Traditional Owners are already observing change on their country
Multiple pressures on country – environmental change, tourism, development and urbanisation, recreational visitors, management of national parks, dugongs and turtles (sand), agricultural production and run-off, fishing. - Different ideas and priorities for management, including priorities to manage country
Social sensitivity and Adaptive Capacity Protect what is left from impacts of colonisation 1) Climate Risk related to identity and context that includes connection to country and urban groups that with limited access to and resources to look after country. Social and cultural risk - CONTROL of cultural artefacts and protecting resources and values 2) Accelerated rate of development, including mining, tourism and urbanisation. 3) Lack of local employment and the challenge to sustain their culture through teaching = key concerns. The challenge of ‘too much’ to know and of the level of knowledge and effort required to maintain their claim to their country and to find funds to get on country on limited resources. 4)Multiple agencies and the challenge of responding to requests with limited capacity and resources, despite their strong interest to be involved.
Genuine engagement on climate change needs to build on foundation of access to country, looking after country and maintenance of cultural practices.
2) Planning for climate change needs to address current concerns as well as future scenarios of change. --This includes building trust that all actors will act in the near future rather than a hope that we will all act some unforeseen time in the future.
3) Projections and risk maps are useful only when Traditional Owners are observing, monitoring and looking after country. Long-term local presence or observations in an area is important.
4) Key Question raised by Traditional Owners during project was, will agricultural producers on the coast be re-located as a result of sea-level rise and salt water intrusion and how Traditional Owners are going to be involved in those decisions.
Narratives reinforce identity in effective pathways for change
-Danger of short-term partnerships that require continual investment of time for Traditional Owners where there is high turn over of staff.
Lyons et al - Protecting what is left - making local perspectives of uncertainty count in climate adaptation planning
PROTECTING WHAT IS
LEFT: MAKING LOCAL
CSIRO, Koinmerburrra and Yuibera Aboriginal Corporations
LAND AND WATER
Pethie Lyons, Ro Hill, Samarla Deshong, Gary Mooney
Wet Tropics Climate Cluster Project (in the
Great Barrier Reef Catchment)
Natural Resource Management Body:
Reef Catchments NRM Pty
Western Science Knowledge and Skills
Focus of project:
Collaborative project to develop
indigenous component of regional climate
Wet Tropics Climate Cluster
Initial Considerations: Indigenous Knowledge and
framing of climate
Impact of climate
change on cultural resources
Research Approach of Engaging New Partners
Key Question at Engagement
What are we offering Traditional
Owners in this climate project?
Collaborative and negotiated
- camping on country;
- recording and sharing knowledge;
- developing strategies for action.
Uncertainties embedded in a colonial past
Cape Palmerston and
Asked that we meet on country to:
Demonstrate values through sharing
Work together on country and see
Record sites & stories in key cultural
areas and evidence of occupation
Protect aboriginal sites for mob and
Raise awareness of culture
Being on-country: Uncertainties in Experiences of
Change and Loss
Uncertainties under Multiple Pressures that are
Changing the Condition of Country
Uncertainties as part of everyday life
Narrative to Protect What is
Continuing impacts of
Trend of out-migration
Limited inclusion in decision-
making and in on-ground workSource: Reef Catchments NRM Pty
Social Sensitivity and Adaptive Capacity
Uncertainty and the Need to Act has always been
Protect What is Left
Need to act has always been present
Climate adaptation plan to include
existing NRM issues
Projection and Risk Maps
Highlighted the scale perspective of
Western science and limits to access.
Useful when they can be tested and
understood on ground
Maps adapted into the narrative to
protect what is left
Source: Reef Catchments NRM Pty
Environmental Sensitivity and Adaptive
Narratives Reveal Importance of Identity in
‘Protect what is left’ is to protect
what is not lost and strengthen
connection to country and
Context and local narratives
critical to making sense of
reinforce importance of
Relationships to address Climate Change and
Future Uncertainties are Needed Now
Partnerships across agencies
schools, different levels of
government & private sector
Long-term partnerships at enduring
scales (e.g. ecological system GBR)
Recognition and Inclusion of
Traditional Owners in important
Land and Water Flagship
LAND AND WATER FLAGSHIP