Published works

Published works

Scoping remote north Australian community resilience and developing governance models through action research: Annual project report 2014-2015

TitleScoping remote north Australian community resilience and developing governance models through action research: Annual project report 2014-2015
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRussell-Smith, J
Document Number156
Date Published12/2015
InstitutionBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
CityMelbourne
Report Number156
Abstract

The ‘scoping remote northern Australia resilience’ project is part of a larger suite of BNH CRC ‘northern hub’ projects being undertaken through Charles Darwin University. Collectively, these projects aim to promote enhanced understanding of the special circumstances concerning resilience issues in remote Indigenous communities, and identify culturally appropriate governance arrangements and enterprise opportunities that can contribute to enhancing community development and resilience.

We report here on the past year’s activities undertaken through three complementary sub-projects—

(1)    in-depth consultations undertaken by the Aboriginal Research Practitioners Network (ARPNet—a collective of Indigenous community researchers) addressing bushfire and natural hazard threats and issues at two large (>1000 persons) remote Arnhem Land communities, Gunbalanya and Ngukurr

(2)    major desk-top assessments undertaken by the North Australian Land & Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) addressing (a) mapping of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ infrastructure assets at Gunbalanya and Ngukurr, (b) a literature review of our current understanding of remote community resilience in northern Australia

(3)    preliminary assessments of the value of ecosystem services (ES), and derived payment for environmental services (PES) opportunities, at Gunbalanya and Ngukurr, and more broadly on the Indiegnous estate in northern Australia.

While the project is still in its early stages, results presented in this report highlight:

  • the substantial resilience challenges facing remote Indigenous communities from both natural hazards and “hazards more broadly including those associated with colonisation and government intervention”
  • the mis-match between the expectations of emergency management agencies and local communities with respect to being appropriately informed about, engaged with, and resourced for, dealing with B&NH issues
  • the challenges associated with building culturally appropriate sustainable land and sea management enterprises (e.g. ranger programs) that can provide front-line and ongoing support for local communities in the face of severe B&NH incidents.

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