Testing the scoping phase of a bottom-up planning guide designed to support Australian Indigenous rangers manage the impacts of climate change on cultural heritage sites

Bethune Carmichael, Greg Wilson, Ivan Namarnyilk, Sean Nadji, Jacqueline Cahill, Deanne Bird

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Since the early 1990s archaeologists have suggested archaeological and cultural heritage sites (cultural sites) will face major challenges from anthropogenic climate change. While techniques to manage such impacts are emerging, no planning tools exist for bottom-up, community-based management of the issue. This paper forms part of an overarching research project that aims to fill this gap by developing a bottom-up planning guide (the Guide). The paper tests the first of the proposed Guide’s five phases: the scoping phase. It presents the results of workshops conducted with two Australian Indigenous rangers groups. While existing studies document Indigenous peoples’ perceptions of climate change in general, none have focussed on their perceptions of impacts on cultural heritage sites. Here, Indigenous rangers related strong perceptions of particular climate change impacts on specific cultural sites in particular bio-regions. While the rangers were actively engaged with sites, they felt site management should be extended in the face of additional threats from climate change. Rangers were able to nominate a preferred methodological approach, based on a risk analysis of biophysical hazards, as well as local adaptive capacity building in the face of governance challenges. Various barriers to adaptation planning and resource limitations were identified but these were not regarded as insurmountable in terms of the current project. Testing of the scoping phase of the Guide suggested rangers had a strong organisational capacity to achieve practical adaptation results.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1197-1216
    Number of pages20
    JournalLocal Environment
    Volume22
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2017

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