di Domenico Vito

Indigenous knowledge plays a crucial role in climate action, contributing valuable insights and practices that can enhance our understanding of, and response to, climate change. 

More and more over the indigenous cultures all over the world are recognized even by traditional science to be a key part of the climate action

Here are some key aspects of the role of indigenous knowledge in climate action:

1. Local Adaptation Strategies:

   – Indigenous communities often possess a deep understanding of their local ecosystems and have developed adaptive strategies over generations. This knowledge can inform sustainable practices and help communities adapt to changing climate conditions.

2. Biodiversity Conservation:

   – Indigenous knowledge often includes a rich understanding of local flora and fauna. This knowledge can contribute to biodiversity conservation efforts, as indigenous communities are often closely connected to and dependent on the ecosystems in which they live.

3. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK):

   – Traditional Ecological Knowledge refers to the knowledge systems developed by indigenous communities about the relationships between living beings and their environment. This knowledge can provide insights into ecosystem dynamics, species behavior, and the impacts of climate change.

4. Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction:

   – Indigenous communities are often resilient in the face of environmental challenges. Their traditional practices and knowledge can offer effective strategies for disaster risk reduction and resilience-building, particularly in the context of extreme weather events associated with climate change.

5. Sustainable Resource Management

   – Indigenous knowledge often emphasizes sustainable resource management practices. Traditional approaches to agriculture, forestry, and fishing, for example, may offer lessons in how to utilize resources in a way that ensures their long-term viability.

6. Cultural Perspectives on Climate Change:

   – Indigenous knowledge incorporates cultural perspectives that may be overlooked in mainstream climate discussions. Understanding these cultural dimensions is crucial for developing inclusive and culturally sensitive climate policies.

7. Community-Led Climate Action:

   – In many cases, the implementation of climate action measures is most effective when it is community-led. Indigenous knowledge empowers local communities to take an active role in designing and implementing climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.

8. Carbon Sequestration Practices:

   – Some indigenous land management practices contribute to carbon sequestration and can play a role in climate change mitigation. For instance, certain traditional land-use practices may enhance soil carbon storage.

9. Partnerships and Collaboration:

   – Recognizing and respecting indigenous knowledge involves fostering partnerships and collaboration between indigenous communities and external entities, such as governments, NGOs, and scientists. Collaborative efforts can lead to more effective climate policies and initiatives.

It’s essential to approach the integration of indigenous knowledge into climate action with respect for cultural diversity, acknowledging the rights of indigenous communities, and ensuring that they are active participants in decision-making processes related to climate change.

It’s important to understand that indigenous knowledge need to be considered not as a “normal science” : it is more empirical, and it is based on a deep connection with the environment:

We must look to the past and the future because if we don’t, who will learn from the past? The youth. We still have grandparents who possess valuable knowledge. When climate change began, they warned us of the trouble, and in the four cardinal points, animals like the eagle, black panther, and cayena signify the sustaining forces of Mother Earth.

Many delegation of indigenous people has participated and expressed during COP28.

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Immagine WhatsApp 2023-12-10 ore 07.49.30_028eba4e

Their colourful and intense manifestation had claimed for climate justice and remembered that climate change and environmental protection is going far beyond the mere finance

Indigenous knowledge has also being recognized by IPCC : during the side event Ancestral knowledge and Climate Action at the Science Pavillion on Dec 10th, different indigenous leaders and indigenous IPCC scientists has gathered to prepare the way also for the draft of the next AR7 on how to integrate indigenous people on mitigation and adaptation strategies.

That opened a new way of collaboration between more “modern and cartesian science” and “traditional holistic science” : both are expressions of human culture and humanity.

So it’s important to consider both as the “best available knowledge” to cope with such a complex problem as climate change is more and more necessary. 

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