Conferences, 4Rs 2008

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A human-rights based approach to climate change for Indigenous people
Emma Partridge

Last modified: 2008-08-31


While increasing attention is now focused on the global challenge of climate change, it is still commonly viewed as an environmental or economic challenge. The social and human rights implications aEUR" both of climate change itself, and of the various mitigation and adaption responses proposed aEUR" have received less attention. Recently there have been a number of calls (notably HREOC 2008) to pay greater attention to the social costs of climate change, and in particular the impact of these costs on human rights, including the human rights of Indigenous people.

This paper will consider the link between climate change and human rights, with a particular focus on the implications for the human rights of Australian Indigenous people. The paper will explore what it means to adopt a human rights-based approach to developing policy and legislative responses to climate change, both in a general sense, and with regard to Indigenous people in particular. It will examine how climate change might impact on Indigenous people, and how a rights-based approach might help to mitigate or avoid the negative potential impacts. It will outline a number of strategies for a rights-based approach to tackling climate change. It will also consider the contribution that Indigenous ecological and land management knowledge (or aEUR~caring for countryaEUR(TM) practices), might make in facing the challenges of climate change.

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