Bridging the gap between theory and practice in climate change vulnerability assessments for remote Indigenous communities in northern Australia

Donna S Green, S Niall, Joe Morrison

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This paper considers the Australian federal government's approach to climate adaptation policy for remote northern Indigenous communities through the close examination of a seminal Scoping Study. This approach is taken to illustrate the lag between adaptation theory and practice, and to highlight important considerations to enable the development of a just and effective policy. The analysis suggests that policy in this area would benefit from the further consideration of three factors, namely the role of uncertainty in climate policy, the need for meaningful consultation with communities, and the benefit of integrating contextual and bottom-up assessment of vulnerability with decision-making in an iterative manner. The paper concludes by suggesting that the current approach to vulnerability assessment is insufficiently nuanced to allow an adequate appreciation of factors that influence social vulnerability in remote communities, and consequently, policy developed from it is likely to be ineffective.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)295-315
    Number of pages21
    JournalLocal Environment
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


    Cite this