Indigenous Health & Impacts
This scoping study presents an assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on Indigenous settlements and communities across tropical northern Australia, including the Torres Strait Islands and the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The study region is home to about 87,000 Indigenous people, around a quarter of the total population of 355,000. The region includes 665 settlements varying from less than 50, to 3,500 people. Approximately 50 per cent of this Indigenous population lives within 20 kilometres of the coast or on off shore islands.
Indigenous people in northern Australia face many existing challenges. These include: remoteness, poor health, inadequate infrastructure, lack of educational and employment opportunities, and low incomes. Climate change will exacerbate many of these pre-existing challenges. However, new opportunities also exist for some of these communities from climate change. Many of these opportunities will stem from existing roles that community members play in managing natural and cultural resources in remote areas on behalf of the nation.