Why Traditional Knowledge Holds the Key to Climate Change
This article comes from the Mother Pelican Journal and looks at indigenous/traditional knowledge and its value when looking for solutions to environmental and climate problems.
"A significant manifestation of the marginalization of indigenous peoples from the climate change policy and decision-making is the paucity of references in the global climate change discussions to the existing traditional knowledge on climate change Such international discourse has often failed to consider the valuable insights on direct and indirect impacts, as well as mitigation and adaptation approaches, held by indigenous peoples worldwide. This is particularly evident in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports released every few years. The most authoritative and influential reference on climate change in the world, the IPCC Assessment Reports guide governments, policy- and decision-making communities, and non-governmental organizations in planning and implementing their actions. The last IPCC Assessment ( AR4, published in 2007) noted that indigenous knowledge is “an invaluable basis for developing adaptation and natural resource management strategies in response to environmental and other forms of change”. This was reaffirmed at the 32nd Session of the IPCC in 2010: “indigenous or traditional knowledge may prove useful for understanding the potential of certain adaptation strategies that are cost-effective, participatory and sustainable”. Previous IPCC Assessments, however, were unable to access this type of information because, for the most part, traditional knowledge either appears in grey literature outside of peer-reviewed academic forums, or remains in oral form, thereby falling outside the scope of IPCC process. To address gaps in available information on traditional knowledge (TK) and climate change adaptation and mitigation, and to promote respect for TK and the role of indigenous peoples in policy development, the United Nations University’s Traditional Knowledge Initiative (UNU-TKI) and the IPCC have partnered to organize a series of workshops to ensure that the experience of indigenous and traditional peoples of climate change impacts and their adaptation and mitigation strategies are fully integrated in the next IPCC Assessment Report (AR5, to be published in 2014) and are widely available to the global community."