Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

Some material may contain terms that reflect authors’ views, or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded, but may not be considered appropriate today. These views are not necessarily the views of AIATSIS. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.

Land and water

Land and water aims to build a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples’ relationships both with country and the governance of their lands and waters, and government policies affecting Australian land and waters.

Our research is set within the context of environmental change – climate change, land use change, and the resulting consequences for people, ecosystems and biodiversity. Indigenous peoples, whose laws, cultures and knowledge are embedded in country, are at the forefront of experiencing and responding to these changes. Indigenous peoples have survived different climatic periods in earlier times; however, climate change is occurring on a much more rapid time scale, with profound implications for all. One of the challenges we now face is to research new ways of thinking and living sustainably with country.

Current areas of research focus include climate change, water, sustainable livelihoods and resource use, philosophies of country and cultural landscapes, and we work closely with the Native Title and Traditional Ownership as well as the Governance Development and Public Policy research themes.

Our research is often conducted in partnership with other research institutions, Indigenous regional alliances, Indigenous representative and corporate bodies, communities and individuals.

AIATSIS acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, culture and community.

We pay our respects to elders past and present.

Land and water | Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies


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