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

McNamara, Karen and Westoby, R. (2011) Local knowledge and climate change adaptation on Erub Island, Torres Strait. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 16 (9). pp. 887-901. ISSN 1354-9839

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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 Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2013 00:22
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2013 00:22

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