Indigenous women’s preferences for climate change adaptation and aquaculture development to build capacity in the Northern Territory

Authors: Lisa Petheram, Ann Fleming, Natasha Stacey and Anne Perry
Year: 2013

In the Indigenous Australian community of South Goulburn Island in the Northern Territorys peoples preferences for adaptation usually concerned building general community capacity, drawing from customary knowledge, being more involved in government decision-making and learning more about scientific knowledge. The Indigenous dependence on marine resources led to the exploration of aquaculture as an option for adapting to future climate change and marine related impacts. Participants showed a strong interest in aquaculture as an option to help diversify food sources and minimise reliance on store purchased foods and provide income for the community especially under future climate uncertainty. However, people had limited understanding of aquaculture practices, technology and logistics and capacity involved in establishing and maintaining enterprises. And although people desired greater employment and skills, conventional employment was not a high aspiration except where work was closely related to the natural environment. Implementing programs of aquaculture for adaptation will require improved communication and learning among all stakeholders, developing longterm relationships built on trust, and awareness of different worldviews on adaptation, planning, resource management and development.

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