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Climate Change

Climate Change represents both a challenge and an opportunity for Indigenous people in northern Australia.

Expected increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, temperatures, sea levels and ocean acidification, as well as potential impacts on rainfall and cyclone intensity, will compound many existing challenges facing Indigenous communities in northern Australia such as: remoteness, poor health, inadequate infrastructure, lack of educational and employment opportunities and low incomes .

However, climate change also presents a significant opportunity for Indigenous people to participate in environmental markets by linking Traditional Knowledge of land management with the emerging global carbon economy and biodiversity conservation. This new economy has the prospect of supporting Indigenous people to live on their country and sustain themselves in a way which reinforces cultural values and practices.

NAILSMA's Involvement

NAILSMA is involved in research focusing on the impact of, and adaptation to, climate change in Indigenous populations across northern Australia.

An important scoping study Risks from Climate Change to Indigenous Communities in the Tropical North of Australia by Donna Green, Sue Jackon & Joe Morrison (editors) was released by the Australian Government, Department of Climate Change, in 2010.

NAILSMA participated in, and hosted, a number of recent climate change forums, including:

  • National Climate Change Forum, Alice Springs 2011
  • NAILSMA Climate Change Adaptation Workshop, Darwin 2010
  • United Nations Climate Change Conferencee, Copenhagen 2009
  • NAILSMA International Expert Group Forum on Climate Change and Indigenous People, Darwin 2008
  • United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, New York 2008
  • United Nations Climate Change Conference, Bali 2007

Visit the websites of the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC)

For more information on the climate change forums and reports please go to the related content below.

Related Content

NAILSMA was commissioned by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), through the University of Melbourne, to convene a...
Footprint Postcard
Report by Joe Morrison, NAILSMA CEO, on NAILSMA's participation in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 2009 Whilst...
NAILMSA delegates, Jean Fenton and Joe Morrison during roundtable discussions
NAILSMA in conjunction with Japan-based United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies and the Secretariat of United Nations Permanent...
International Public Forum on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change
This book contains the proceedings of an International Public Forum on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change 2008. A collaborative effort between...
 Risks from Climate Change to Indigenous Communities in the Tropical North of Australia.
This scoping study presents an assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on Indigenous settlements and communities across tropical...