In this inquiry AIATSIS highlights the intersection of native title governance issues with regulatory and policy barriers to climate change adaptation.
In October 2011, the AIATSIS Centre for Land and Water Research began case study research into the social and institutional barriers and enablers of climate change adaptation for RNTBCs, as part of an NCCARF research grant.
However, from this research, there are some identifiable concerns with respect to the Productivity Commission’s issues paper. The issues paper implicitly excludes the experiences of native title holders in the adaptation debate.
In summary AIATSIS makes the following observations:
- The definition of effective adaptation – maximum net benefit to the community as a whole – does not provide an opportunity to interrogate how this benefit is measured or defined.
- Climate change adaptation discussions exclude the body of literature in anthropology and archaeology that implicitly recognises the adaptive capacity and resilience of Indigenous communities, which is fundamental to a successful native title determination.
- Questions of costs and benefits need to be viewed more holistically.
- Adaptation in the Indigenous sector occurs or will occur without strong recognized rights