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Prepare for Impact! When People and Environment Collide in the Tropics



Prepare for Impact! When People and Environment Collide in the Tropics

Other title

When people and environment collide in the tropics


Abdurohman, Rahman; Arnstrong, Rachel; Boggs, Guy; Bowman, David; Brook Barry; Bunn, Stuart; Campbell, Bruce; Cunningham, Anthony; Davies, Diane; Garnett, Stephen; Gerritsen, Rolf; Griffiths, Tony; Morrison, Joe; Yu, Peter; Wright, S. Joseph; Williams, Meryl; Tay, Simon; Steffe, Will; Stacey, Natasha; Srivastava, Leena; Sodhi, Navjot S; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo; Resosudarmo, Budy P; Portillo-Quintero, Carlos; Nurdianto, Ditya Agung; Muller-Landau, Helene C


Stacey, Natasha E; Boggs, Guy S; Campbell, Bruce M.; Steffen, Will


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




South East Asia and tropical Australia are undergoing major changes, which are likely to intensify in the next decade. Booming economies in China and India, and potentially other countries, are likely to drive exponential increases in demands for natural resources. Climate change is likely to have severe impacts, ranging from those associated with changes in severity of cyclones, to those associated with sea level rise in shallow oceans. Land cover transformations, already a common feature in many parts, could well decimate biodiversity. Human disease outbreaks, which have already caused alarm and economic disruption, could remain a feature of the region. The challenges are immense; it is timely to reflect on transforming forces and our responses. In May 2006, an international symposium was held in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia, to discuss these very issues. This publication features papers by leading researchers and policy makers on the following themes:'Drivers of Change; 'Values & Livelihoods; 'What Are the Changes and Their Impacts? The editors of this book all have wide experience in this area. Dr Natasha Stacey is an anthropologist with expertise in natural resource management in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr Guy Boggs has focused his GIS and modelling research on the use of technologies for understanding changes in spatial patterns of vegetation distribution, erosion and runoff response. Prof Bruce Campbell works in the tropics on four continents from humid rainforests to dry woodlands and is focussed on achieving better outcomes for conservation and development and improving the well-being of people through natural resource management and use. Prof Will Steffen has research interests which span a broad range within the field of Earth System science.

Table of contents

Setting the scene -- Gerritsen : A resilient future for Northern Australia? People, economics and policy issues -- Resosudarmo : Setting the scene : driving forces of change in Southeast Asia -- Drivers of change -- Steffen : Climate change in the tropics -- Srivastava : Securing India's energy future : what does the world have to worry about? -- Tay : Trade and environment in Southeast Asia -- Williams : Food production systems and policy development in Southeast Asia -- Values and livelihoods -- Armstong et al : Indigenous land and sea management and sustainable business development in Northern Australia -- Garnett : Enterprise development by indigenous communities using natural resources : where do the benefits go? -- Campbell et al : Do local people and the environment collide? Who drives environmental change? -- What are the changes and their impacts? -- Cunningham : Culture, livelihoods and conservatism -- Sodhi and Brook : Biodiversity crisis in Southeast Asia -- Wright et al : The future of Southeast Asian forests and their species -- Bunn : Northern Australia -- all that water ... going to waste? -- Bowman : Time's up for Australia's last frontier.




0502 - Environmental Science and Management; Southeast Asia; Northern Australia; Natural Resource Management; Politics & Society

Publisher name

Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press)

Place of publication



vi, 119 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.

File type



9780980665017; 980665019



Copyright owner

Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press)



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prevent the development of persistent income disparities within and between nations; and solve persistent environmental issues (Douglass 2001). Additionally, global capitalism has its historical roots in western European cultural values, a long history of colonial exploitation and marginalization of Indigenous peoples, tending to ignore the particular requirements of local people in local places (Blaser et al. 2004). These market failures are all present in northern Australia, and highlight the need for an innovative approach to business development. Linking customary management of Indigenous lands across northern Australia to strategic and innovative opportunities for business development requires a considered approach. Some ideas to be explored in relation to business development within a culture based economy, in remote areas of northern Australia may include: the role of local and regional governance structures; local participation and ownership of business development; and dynamic engagement with capitalism in a way that matches the needs and aspirations of Indigenous people. Each of these is briefly discussed below. Local and regional governance and institutions The Harvard Project on American Indian economic development has highlighted the importance of political dynamics and political institutions to social and economic development on Indigenous lands in the United States (Cornell and Kalt 2003).The roles of governance and institutions has also received much attention in Australia and development. Dodson and Smith (2003) argue that in Australia, development of sound governance structures and development strategies and policies are the areas over which Indigenous people can assert most effective control towards achieving self determined outcomes. They argue that there is no universal solution to governance but that broad principles of good governance5 need to be applied in local contexts to achieve local solutions through the engagement of community and regional leaders. In terms of regional organisation, flexibility to enable local autonomy as well as regional integration, and a capacity to be intercultural are cited as important factors. Local participation and ownership There is a wide body of literature in international development that suggests a participatory approach is central to achieving sustainable development at a local and regional level. A participatory approach establishes local institutions, aspirations, knowledge, and resources at the centre of development as its agents rather than its objects. It also has potential to build collaborative regional networks from the ground up. Some of the core aspects of a participatory approach that are relevant to local and regional sustainability are summarised by McGrath et al. (2004). They include: facilitation at a local level to enable local people to determine their own development priorities; capacity building so that local people and local institutions develop the skills and confidence to take control of development; empowerment so that local people are the agents of change in their own communities; networking so that local institutions are linked across space to facilitate collaboration, communication and coordination of local initiatives with broader strategic regional agendas, and to enable regional collaboration to evolve from the ground up; and conflict resolution towards collaboration and cooperation at a local and regional level. Prepare for Impact!Values and Livelihoods 60

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