This chapter discusses the adaptive capacity of coastal urban and peri-urban Indigenous People’s to climate change. It is based on the findings of a National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) funded project that utilised a series of case studies that engaged key representatives from Indigenous organisations in five coastal locations in three states of south-eastern Australia (Low Choy D, Clarke P, Jones D, Serrao-Neumann S, Hales R, Koschade O et al., Aboriginal reconnections: understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Indigenous people’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, 139 pp, 2013). The study has highlighted the social, economic and environmental impacts on urban and peri-urban Indigenous communities inhabiting coastal areas throughout south-eastern Australia. These impacts include a loss of community and environmental assets, such as cultural heritage sites, with significant impacts on their quality of life and the establishment of potential favourable conditions for the spread of plant diseases, weeds and pests. The study also found that opportunities did not readily exist for engagement with climate change adaptation policy and initiatives and this was further exacerbated by acute shortages of qualified/experienced Indigenous members that could represent their communities’ interests in climate change adaptation forums. The evidence emerging from this research clearly demonstrates that Aboriginal people’s consideration of the future, even with the overlay of climate change and the requirements for serious considerations of adaptation, are significantly influenced and dominated by economic aspirations which are seen as fundamental survival strategies for their communities.
Field of Research
120107 Landscape Architecture 050201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Knowledge 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
Socio Economic Objective
970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
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