Aboriginal communities have been adapting to climate change for millennia but now because of man-made climate change they will need to adapt even faster.

Aboriginal knowledge has been critical in supporting climate adaptation actions, particularly in the natural resource management area, such as cultural burning for bushfire risk reduction.

Aboriginal communities are also recognised to be some of the most vulnerable communities in Victoria making them particularly sensitive to climate change. Factors that may make Aboriginal people in the Loddon Mallee more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change include: socioeconomic circumstances, geographically remoteness, inadequate infrastructure and access to services, among other systematic disadvantages.

Already in many communities are being adversely affected by temperature increases, extreme fire weather, storms and floods. Climate change is also likely to carry a spiritual and cultural toll on Aboriginal people through the destruction of cultural sites (for example, as a result of bushfires); the disappearance of spiritually important species (such as totem animals) and of plants and animals used for traditional food, medicine and other cultural practices.

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Caring for Country in a Changing Climate -What is it?

Caring for Country in Changing climate is an ADAPT Loddon Mallee micro-funding program supported by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

This program aims to support Aboriginal communities and groups in the region to undertake activities that involve:

  1. Planning or acting on climate change impacts in areas that are a key priority for your community and Country? (example include: climate impacts on natural resource management, cultural sites and practices, physical and mental health and wellbeing, vulnerability to extreme weather events such as bushfire, heatwaves, floods etc)
  2. Gathering or applying traditional knowledge and ways of working on country to collectively address climate change impacts on people and country.

$70,000 funding available

  • Local activities with a single Aboriginal group or organisation – between $1000 and $10,000 to be awarded
  • Regional activities with multiple Aboriginal organisations or groups – between $11,000 and $30,000 will be awarded

This is not a competitive grants process – funding will be awarded after consultation with the ADAPT Loddon Mallee team to projects that meet program objectives.

This program is part of the ADAPT Loddon Mallee Program that aims to identify priority adaption actions while building leadership capacity, climate literacy, knowledge and supporting networks and partnerships across the region.

From funded activities ADAPT Loddon Mallee wants to better:

  • Understand how Indigenous knowledge can help all Victorians to adapt to climate change (with respect to Indigenous ownership of their own cultural knowledge).
  • Understand how Aboriginal communities in the Loddon Mallee can have a greater say in matters affecting their community and their country, of which climate change and adaption is part of.
  • Understand how we can empower and provide authorship to Aboriginal communities to identify and implement their own responses to climate change, as only they arein a position to determine the best solutions for their unique needs, interests, and circumstances
  • Identify key activities to support in the future
  • Provide a platform for Aboriginal communities to share their needs to peers, decision makers and financiers

Who can apply?

Eligible activities must either be led by or implemented in partnership with at least one Aboriginal owned organisation or corporation In the Loddon Mallee region – See map below.

  • In addition, to be eligible for funding, applicants must be:
  • An incorporated body, cooperative or association (including business associations), and
  • Financially solvent.
  • Other organisations, for example education institutions or private sector organisations, are also eligible to apply for funding provided they are partnering with a traditional owner corporation, Aboriginal community group or not for profit organisation, and the activity is for public benefit and not solely for private/individual gain.

We acknowledge the First Peoples of the Loddon Mallee and their/our longstanding, rich and resilient cultures, rights and responsibilities to Country, and genuinely pay respect to their/our knowledge holders, leaders, Elders past, present and future.