Research Context

    Research in, of and for the tropics.

    Cultural globalization, economic modernization, transnational mobility and environmental change are dramatically re-shaping the tropical world. Governments and communities face a complex and interconnected set of issues including uneven growth, poverty, urbanization, exposure to natural hazards, degradation of natural resources, and so on.

    The Cairns Institute’s research addresses these critical points of social and environmental change. It has a particular, but not exclusive, focus on northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, the South Pacific and the wider Asia Pacific region.

    Social transformation in the tropics is a given. The Institute aims to contribute, in practical ways, to transformations that respect the cultural and linguistic diversity of the region; that support sustainable and inclusive development; and which provide positive co-benefits for mitigating and adapting to environmental change.

    This involves: fundamental research and theory building concerning the social roots of vulnerability and transformation; applied research targeting opportunities for lasting positive change; and strong connections with capacity-building and communication and outreach activities.

    Creativity & Innovation

    Cultural & Linguistic Transformations

    Indigenous Futures

    Social & Environmental Justice

    Sustainable Development


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