Community based adaptation to climate change: The Arabana, South Australia

Media type: 
Melissa Nursey-Bray
Deane Fergie
Veronica Arbon
Lester-Irabinna Rigney
Rob Palmer
John Tibby
Nick Harvey
Lucy Hackworth
The University of Adelaide
AuConsulting Adelaide
South Australia


The Arabana Climate Change Adaptation project is a collaboration between the Arabana people and the University of Adelaide, South Australia. Arabana people live in the Lake Eyre region, Marree, Oodnadatta, Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, Port Augusta, Adelaide and Darwin. The project was a multi method, cross cultural and inter-disciplinary adaptation project which aimed to assess the resilience and vulnerability of the Arabana people and then develop adaptation options. 

Project dimensions included production of a peer reviewed science report, an assessment of adaptive capacity via interrogation of wellness, governance and ICT, and conduct of a risk perception values analysis and adaptation workshops. Results suggest that Arabana people have a history of adaptation and are relatively resilient to change, yet Arabana country is highly vulnerable. The Arabana strategy was built around trying to make connections between these two elements. Adaptation options in the strategy include establishment of cultural centres in every place and city where Arabana people live, setting up economic businesses in tourism and pastoralism, moving back to country, establishing cultural camps, revitalisation programs and the establishment of ranger, land management and monitoring and research programs.

Please cite this report as:
Nursey-Bray, M, Fergie, D, Arbon, V, Rigney, L-I, Palmer, R, Tibby, J, Harvey, N & Hackworth, L 2013, Community based adaptation to climate change: The Arabana, South Australia, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, 133 pp.

Visit the research project page

This photo is copyright © Melissa Nursey-Bray