First Nations communities have a deep and enduring relationship with—and connection and responsibility to—land, sea and sky; a connection that is impacted by climate change.
First Nations peoples have been managing land and sea, and the effects of climate variability for more than 60,000 years. They continue to safely steward the diverse landscapes of Queensland, reduce carbon emissions and manage climate risk through First Nations land management practices.
Recognition of First Nations customs, knowledge and expertise can bring new jobs and attract investment to communities. It can also support place-based climate adaptation and resilience, whilst strengthening cultural connections to Country.
The Queensland Government has invested in a range of programs to create new jobs and support place-based climate adaptation action that seeks to maintain a connection to Country and recognise the traditional knowledge of and leadership by First Nations communities.
- The Decarbonising Remote Communities Program provides $3.6 million to four Indigenous communities in Queensland’s far north—Doomadgee, Mapoon, Pormpuraaw and the Northern Peninsula Area—to install renewable energy systems to reduce the use of diesel power. Participating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils are key project partners in planning and delivering these projects.
- The CarbonPlus Fund invested $8.4 million to offset government fleet emissions from 2016–17 to 2018–19 and supports First Nations-run carbon farming projects.
- The Land Restoration Fund invests in carbon farming projects that generate co-benefits that are a priority for Queensland. These include co-benefits that provide on-Country business opportunities and new service delivery businesses, as well as supporting cultural and customary connections.
- The Decarbonisation of the Great Barrier Reef Islands program has supported businesses and communities of the Great Barrier Reef islands to transition to a low carbon future. With pilot projects on Palm Island, Masig Island, Magnetic Island and Great Keppel Island, the program also helped these communities to continue to care for Country and safeguard the future of their islands.
- The Queensland Government brought together more than 70 First Nations peoples at a First Nations Climate Summit as part of Climate Week in 2019, highlighting First Nations peoples role in addressing climate change.
- The Queensland Climate Resilient Councils program is a unique partnership between the Local Government Association of Queensland and the Queensland Government to support local governments to plan for and respond to climate change. Yarrabah and Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Councils worked with the program’s consultants and their communities to co-create a podcast and poster, telling the story of climate change on their Country through the observations and voices of their communities.
- The Advanced Queensland Deadly Innovation Strategy seeks to deliver jobs and economic wealth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It empowers communities to activate their traditional values of participation and innovation, through embracing positions of current strength in culture, land, water and business that benefit all.