Climate change is a key threat of our time. Following the release of the global IPCC report in 2021, it was described as ‘Code red for humanity’, with governments everywhere working on net zero plans. But is it having specific impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, many of whom live in remote areas? Are there opportunities to build on Australian First Nations peoples’ knowledges of country, to help us respond to climate change?
The Lowitja Institute recently developed a report about how climate change is affecting Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health. Some key findings include:
- There are many varied direct and indirect climate change impacts on the morbidity and mortality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- To date, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have not been sufficiently included in national conversations about climate change
- Many solutions are known but access to these solutions is not equally or equitably available across Australia
- Climate change presents an opportunity for redress and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to lead climate action planning based on their intimate traditional and historical knowledges of Country.
On Wednesday 7 September 2022, WSAA will welcome the Lead Author Veronica Matthews and Aunty Mara West, for a webinar outlining the Lowitja Institute report, with a focus on water. You can register here, and the report is here.