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Use of IK in responding to climate change

Indigenous knowledge systems, resource management practices, and adaptation strategies are all considered important tools for both mitigating and adapting to climate change. However, best practices for integrating these practices, which cut across sectors including agriculture, water, forestry, and governance, into other processes are still emerging. Two distinct dimensions of the use of IK can be mentioned here: the content of this knowledge in terms of strategies, tools, and techniques, for responding to climate change; and the processes through which this knowledge is transmitted and put into action including social learning, knowledge sharing, and collaborative management or decision-making (examples of each are included in the recommended resources below). Also important is the close link between indigenous scientific practice (the way which indigenous peoples observe, interpret, and build knowledge from their interactions with the environment) and the cultures in which it is embedded, as these are often seen as indivisible.


Image credits: Plan International | Children take part in child-centred disaster risk reduction activity supported by Plan International in Vietnam.

The value of indigenous knowledge in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the African Sahel
A. Nyong (ed); F. Adesina (ed); B. Osman Elasha (ed) 2007
It is increasingly realised that mitigation and adaptation should not be pursued independently of each other but as complements. Integrating mitigation and adaptation into climate change concerns is not a completely new idea in the Af...
Advance guard: climate change impacts, adaptation, mitigation and indigenous peoples – a compendium of case studies
K., G McLean / United Nations University 2010
This compendium presents a wide-ranging overview of more than 400 projects, case studies and research activities specifically related to climate change and Indigenous Peoples (IP). It provides a sketch of the climate and environmental...
Guide on climate change and indigenous peoples
V. Tauli-Corpuz (ed); R. de Chavez (ed); E. Baldo-Soriano (ed) 2009
This report discusses the basics of climate change, mitigation and adaptation measures, and the impact of climate change on indigenous peoples. It gives examples of adaptation and mitigation processes practised by indigenous people. I...
Indigenous knowledge systems and Alaska native ways of knowing
R. Barnhardt, (ed); A., O Kawagley (ed) 2005
Until recently, literature on Native world views and ways of knowing has been scarce. Indigenous peoples globally have sustained their unique world views and knowledge systems for ages even in the face of transformative forces beyond ...