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Rights, ethics and justice considerations

Despite the clear value of linking indigenous knowledge to action on climate change, it is important to consider how engaging with the communities who hold this knowledge may raise issues of rights, ethics or social justice. The ethically questionable expropriation of indigenous knowledge in industries such as pharmaceuticals underscores the importance of meaningful participation of indigenous communities in planning, approving and implementing processes that involve their knowledge or resources. Indigenous peoples are often highly marginalised within their own countries, and under-represented in international dialogues, meaning that questions of power and voice in such forums are important considerations. These concerns are currently under-examined in the field of climate change, but there are many lessons which can be drawn from other fields such as biodiversity and conservation.

Climate change and human rights: issues and opportunities for indigenous peoples
E. Gerrard (ed) / Australian Human Rights Commission 2008
This article examines issues and opportunities in relation to indigenous peoples’ participation in response to climate change both nationally and internationally. Using the case of Australia, the paper evaluates ways in which in...
Universal declaration of the rights of Mother Earth
This is a proclamation of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth (ME) which was created at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of ME held in Cochabamba, Bolivia on April 22, 2010. ...
Protecting traditional knowledge from the grassroots up
K. Swiderska (ed); A. Argumedo (ed); R. Pant (ed) / International Institute for Environment and Development 2009
For indigenous peoples around the world, traditional knowledge (TK) based on natural resources forms the basis of their culture and identity, and yet it is under threat. Indigenous communities are increasingly vulnerable to eviction, ...