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NT Climate Justice Workshop builds cross-sector networks

Warumungu and Warlmanpa Traditional Owner Dianne Stokes shares the ways in which climate change is already affecting Aboriginal communities across the Barkly Region and her history fighting to protect country.

In September 2019, Jesuit Social Services, the Environment Centre Northern Territory and the Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) partnered to host the first in a series of workshops focusing on issues of climate justice in the Northern Territory (NT). The aim of this first workshop was to start to build cross-sector networks for collective advocacy and practical responses to the challenges that climate changes is presenting for communities in the NT.

It was attended by 60 participants from across the NT, representing organisations that included community service providers, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, land councils, local government, the Northern Territory Government, industry experts and environmental organisations. It was the first time such a large and diverse group of stakeholders gathered to discuss climate issues affecting vulnerable communities in the NT.

Key themes from the workshop included the importance of strengthening cross-sector relationships, the urgent need for regional adaptation planning in the NT (prioritising remote communities), community-owned clean energy, and listening to Aboriginal people for Aboriginal-led solutions.

Through the workshop we:

  • Engaged and empowered new stakeholders from outside the environmental sector to advocate and take action on climate change, including NT Government agencies and social service providers.
  • Formed new cross-sector relationships that have laid the foundations for future work, including:
    • A joint statement by 18 organisations and community groups working for environmental and social justice in response to the Northern Territory Government’s draft Climate change Response.
    • Planning underway to establish a cross-sector alliance to drive community engagement and advocacy for climate justice and a just transition in the lead up to the NT elections in 2020 and beyond.
    • Workshop in early 2020 for leaders of NT community sector organisations on how they can embed climate change mitigation and adaptation considerations into their operations, services and advocacy.
    • Sowed the seeds for practical transition projects, for example by linking community housing providers with technical expertise from renewable energy providers.

The working group that organised the day has since expanded and is currently planning a follow-up workshop in Alice Springs on 5 and 6 March 2020. Building on the themes of the first workshop, the Alice Springs event will bring people together to share lived experience and technical and policy expertise to generate just solutions to the climate challenges facing Territory communities.

Click here to download images from the Darwin event 

Click here to download a flyer for the NT Climate Justice Workshop in Alice Springs March 2020

For more information about the upcoming Alice Springs workshop, please contact Nicola Flook, NT Policy and Advocacy Manager, at nicola.flook@jss.org.au