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Practiced and shared Living Knowledge

Adaptation Pathway

This pathway will promote the use of the whole of the Cape York NRM Atlas to share knowledge and exchange capacity across groups. The focus is on region-wide planning processes for climate change adaptation using the information gathered from several sources, both technical and community- generated, without creating a new plan.

The Atlas is intended to support the Cape York community, particularly landholders, to use and develop tools to integrate land management techniques such as water management, infrastructure assessments, agricultural planning for soil health and monitoring of climate impacts on threatened species.

How was it identified

Cape York has a long history of failed planning processes which led to a new phase of planning by doing. This was informed by the development of Cape York NRM, community discussions and projects to improve resilience of NRM. This pathway was particularly developed through the Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change project. Using a systems approach to planning for climate change was identified at the 2014 RIS workshop.






  • Engage appropriately with Elders and knowledge holders to seek permissions and record knowledge through multiple media platforms.

  • Work with partners, the Board and members of Cape York NRM to understand the aspirations of people Cape York.

  • Receive monitoring data and understand the lessons in delivery of on-ground projects.

  • Receive and develop communications articles for presentation on the Atlas.


  • Use networks and Indigenous Reference Groups to share, inspire and strengthen responsibilities to Australia's future.

  • Learn about what works and what doesn't to achieve cultural and environmental outcomes, with community partners.

  • Conduct sector workshops to discuss management techniques, 'think tanks' and roundtables, business advice, accredited training and monitoring of activities.

  • Use the project information, identified challenges and lessons learned, monitoring data and research results to improve actions.

  • Assess the risks of various infrastructure development options related to climate variability.

  • Support research and engage with the community to develop new ideas and projects.

  • Work with schools to build skills and knowledge in culture, ecosystems and land management.


  • Connect through the Living Knowledge Place to show people case studies on historical knowledge, environmental projects and wellbeing.

  • As a collective community, continually look for investments and funds, new initiatives and opportunities, connect with networks and test tools for implementing effective actions.

  • Investigate alternative agricultural systems that support sustainable use of water in a changing climate, particularly promoting integrated management of living soils.

  • Collaborate for funding to research and monitor soil health, water fluctuations and climate variability impacts on species and ecosystems.

Example Monitoring Indicator

  • Surveys on the effectiveness of the Atlas


  • Indigenous people hold knowledge built over thousands of years. Sharing and learning from Indigenous knowledge to promote health of country can support resilience to climate change.

  • The NRM planning process plays a central role in identifying and actively promoting adaptation pathways to climate change.

  • The NRM planning process will improve people’s understanding of climate change and streamline planning processes across different scales, but developing this process will take time.

  • Integrating multiple management systems based around maintaining water in the landscape will support climate change adaptation.

  • Supporting land managers will enable them to integrate multiple land uses.

  • The Atlas is an effective tool for promoting information and sharing knowledge to the Cape York community.


  • Sharing of knowledge among interest groups and across sectors.

  • Protection of Indigenous knowledge that is being lost.

  • Synthesis of information, not creating new plan.

  • Strong communications to and among the Cape York community.

  • Working together to share information, knowledge, skills and experiences.

  • Strengthening local delivery of projects and supporting local business.


  • Clan groups sharing Indigenous ecological knowledge with younger and future generations.

  • Improved cross-sector collaborations.

  • Adoption of innovative new ideas.

  • Improved water and soil health.

  • Sustainable use of land.

  • Atlas as an effective new model for sharing information.

  • Improved community cohesion.

  • Improved local capacity and skills to manage the land.

  • Improved respect among Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups.