Local knowledge and climate change adaptation on Erub Island, Torres Strait

McNamara, Karen Elizabeth, and Westoby, Ross (2011) Local knowledge and climate change adaptation on Erub Island, Torres Strait. Local Environment, 16 (9). pp. 887-901.

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Abstract

Local knowledge is a valuable asset in observing and managing environmental change, and importantly, is an unheralded source of adaptive capacity. Torres Strait Islanders are no exception, having used such knowledge to adapt to biophysical changes in their environment for centuries. This article explores the ways in which Islanders have coped in the past with environmental changes to plan for their future. This article focuses on Erub Island in the eastern group of islands in the Torres Strait and charts the adaptation actions or activities employed by respected locals (Elders and Aunties). Drawing on their local knowledge, these actions or activities have included the building of rock walls and wind breaks, using native species to re-vegetate sand cays and the coastal foreshore, applying self-sufficient practices such as fish traps and gardening, reading and respecting country, and transferring this knowledge to the younger generation. In this way, it is the Islanders themselves who detail, based on their local knowledge, what is most appropriate for their community.

Item ID: 21249
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adaptation; capacity; climate change; Torres Strait; traditional knowledge
ISSN: 1469-6711
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2012 23:00
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl Planning) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 100%
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