Indigenous-led response to climate change

·1-min read

Traditional owners and scientists are coming together in Cairns as part of an Indigenous-led response to climate change issues in Australia.

More than 120 traditional owners representing 40 groups have been collaborating with scientists from the CSIRO over five days to share knowledge and develop adaptation and mitigation strategies.

The National First People's Gathering on Climate Change, which began on Monday, seeks to help communities respond to climate change-induced events such as marine heatwaves, rising sea levels, bushfires and heatwaves.

Remote and isolated Indigenous communities are particularly affected by such events, and Gudjugudju Formile of the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji, who are traditional owners from the Cairns area, says the event is important in responding to a changing climate.

"We always had dialogue together, between different traditional owner groups, as climate changed in the past," Mr Formile said.

"We need to continue these dialogues today."

The gathering provides a place for traditional owner groups to share experiences and discuss ways for their communities to adapt.

CSIRO scientist David Karoly said it was paramount to facilitate dialogue between First Nations Peoples and climate scientists, and include traditional knowledge of Indigenous custodians in a co-design process.

"Climate science has helped to establish a clear line of evidence of a changing climate due to increased human fossil carbon emissions, and many First Peoples are already using climate change science to care for country and communities," he said.