2008: Climate Change in Northern Australia
Health, Adaptation, Fire Management and Global Relevance - Proceedings of the 2008 International Public Forum on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: The Tropical Australian Experience
Edited by Kirsty Galloway McLean
Climate Change Experiences in Northern Australia contains the proceedings of an International Public Forum on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change - a collaborative effort between Charles Darwin University (CDU), the United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) Traditional Knowledge Initiative, and the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA), held at CDU on 3 April 2008.
The outcomes of the forum contributed to the International Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change which was held from 2 to 4 April 2008 in Darwin, Australia, which in turn was submitted to the seventh session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held from 22 April to 2 May 2008 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Speakers were invited to share case studies on practical experiences, particularly focussing on the impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples and adaptation, mitigation and opportunities for carbon projects. This was followed by a panel discussion featuring several international experts in order to relate the Australian experience with experiences worldwide.
The fascinating observations of the expert speakers have been reproduced here to benefit a wider audience. Jeremy Russell-Smith (Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centre) introduced the West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement Project and opportunities for indigenous engagement and enterprise development across northern Australia in relation to fire matters and Dean Yibarbuk (Kunbarllanjnja Community, Arnhem Land) spoke of the cultural aspects and involvement of countrymen in this partnership. Wendy Brady (School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems) provided many examples of the enormous capacity of Indigenous Australians for adaptation. Bart Currie (Royal Darwin Hospital) spoke on the nexus between anthropogenic climate change, environmental health and human health, and Ngaire Brown (Menzies School of Health Research) provided perspectives on cultural determinants of health, and impacts of climate change on land management and indigenous health in Australia.
The international panel comprised experts from the Arctic, Asia (Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Philippines), the Arctic (Patricia Cochran, Alaska, USA) and the Pacific (Fiu Mata'ese Elisara, Samoa) who provided commentary on the similarities of indigenous experiences of climate change worldwide, and discussed the implications of a rapidly changing world on the application of traditional knowledge.
ISBN: 978-0-9807084-0-0 (print); 978-0-9807084-1-7 (pdf)
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