Indigenous Liberation equals Climate Mitigation
The WA team pitch focused on the link between First Nations rights and climate justice. They spoke of how climate change impacts Indigenous peoples across the world in distinct ways, and how those who contribute least to climate change are the ones most affected by its negative impacts. They spoke of how Indigenous people have particular physical, cultural, and spiritual and social connections to land, water and sky; connections that transpire in many aspects of Indigenous cultural practices and ways of life. Climate change exacerbates cultural erosion as well as displacement, and has significant social and economic repercussions.
The team highlighted the critical lack of recognition and utilisation of the wisdom, knowledge, and experience about land management and care for country that exists within Indigenous communities, and how this is a significant oversight in climate change responses. There needs to be more inclusive and intersectional dialogue about climate change policies and Indigenous people must be at the forefront of climate policy, response and justice.
- Implement a Federal First Nations Climate Change Advisory body to specifically inform climate change policies and provide culturally safe training, with recruitment done through a consultation and recommendation process with First Nations Elders.
- Provide support and pathways for First Nations young people to work in the renewable energy sector, including subsidised TAFE courses and designing culturally safe learning environments.
- Reform the Australian education system to include First Nations history and knowledge of cultural rules and regulations which involve respect for animals and the environment, and care for country.