Anthropological Contributions to the Study of Climate Change: Current Research and Future Directions

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Climate change is one of the main global challenges of the 21st century. To date, research on climate change has been dominated by the natural sciences with a focus on understanding the short and long term trends in climate change, their impacts on human and ecological systems, and the measures required to mitigate these effects. This paper argues for a greater role for the social sciences in the study of climate change, focusing on past and present contributions of Anthropology to our understanding of human-nature interactions. It reviews the Anthropological research and policy literature on climate change, looking at how human societies have adapted to climate change and variability and the implications of such research for development policy and planning. It concludes with a discussion of ways in which anthropologists can work more effectively with natural scientists, policy makers and impacted communities.

Keywords: Climate Change, Anthropology, Adaptation, Development Policy and Planning
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Bob Pokrant

Associate Professor, Curtin University of Technology
Perth, WA, Australia

I am Associate Professor of Anthropology at Curtin University of Technology in Australia where I teach and research. I was educated at University of Leicester, Northwestern University and Cambridge University. My main research interests are development and environment, with special reference to fisheries, aquaculture and coastal management in Bangladesh and India. At Curtin I am Director of the South Asia Research Unit and Deputy Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. My most recent research is on global trade and the Bangladesh shrimp export sector. This research has now been extended to a broader interest in adaptation to natural and human-indiced hazards, including climate change, in both developing and developed countries.

Ref: I08P0219