Landscapes in transition: A focus on the Asia and pacific region
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Local readiness to meet what appears to be more regularly-occurring natural and human induced disasters is a critical dimension not well understood in the scientific literature. Working from the principle that sustainable outcomes are linked with culturally embedded knowledge and skills this chapter utilizes insights gained from a project that places high value on combining scientific and community-based knowledge, negotiation, community partnerships and linking outcomes with better structures. Externally funded by the International Council of Science, and supported by the International Geographical Union, the research cited synthesizes the field-based observations of scientists located in the Asia and Pacific Region. Countries represented are Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands. Although somewhat eclectic in composition the researchers involved face similar issues in environmental management. Our comon purpose is to share knowledge on how best to bring about behavioural change that can assist with short-term disaster management and help shape a more sustainable environmental future. With significant local challenges from fire, drought, floods and rising sea levels scientific leadership faces local opposition to changed lifestyle recommendations. The agenda of local people, their commuities and traditional lifestyle practices are part of the recognised battled ground for changing behaviours. Strategies that can bridge the divide between the needs and wants of local communities and the scientifically based realities form part of an ongoing dialogue which is welcoming of new contributions. Digital recording technologies are enabling features for sharing data. Simple tools such as the mobile phone help build confidence in collaborative approaches linking local place-based projects with regional and global initiatives. This two-way social agency provides a voice for young scientists to link their local communties with the latest information to guide decision making and action for best policy implementation. Working from a common methodology which outlines key skills, values, beliefs and knowledge we describe progress to date and outline key findings related to each of the case study locations. © 2013 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
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