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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

A Long-Term Strategy for Indigenous Climate Engagement

By Amelia Goonerage, Westpac Climate Scholar, UNFCCC, 2021

Amelia is a Westpac Scholar studying a Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne. Her policy paper focuses on A Long-Term Strategy for Indigenous Climate Engagement.

Executive Summary

The recommendations outlined in this paper take a systems-level approach to combatting climate change. Considering the disproportionate impact on Indigenous peoples and the value of their knowledge, investing in Indigenous climate solutions is critical. However, systemic barriers, which limit educational outcomes and subsequent career trajectories, continue to stifle these contributions, undermining Indigenous capacity and perpetuating patterns of inadequate representation within and beyond policy-making bodies.

This paper recommends two initiatives to address underlying factors and improve the generation of Indigenous-led climate action, by strengthening the Indigenous academic community, with a particular focus on climate research:

  1. To construct and deliver a strategy aiming to achieve population parity in Indigenous and non-Indigenous postgraduate completion rates by 2035.

  2. To deliver a National Climate Scholars Program, supporting Indigenous students to undertake postgraduate study and research related to climate change.

Although these actions should take place within a broader context of policy to close educational gaps and improve Indigenous rights and recognition, they aim to deliver holistic support to Indigenous climate contributions.

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