26-27 November 2015, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France
This two-day conference will bring together experts to discuss how climate change action is reinforced through the inclusion of indigenous knowledge. Experts, including from indigenous peoples, scientists and governments will exchange experiences and best practices on indigenous knowledge and how it contributes to climate change policy and action.
For over 350 million indigenous peoples, climate change impacts are expected to be early and severe due to their location in high risk environments. This includes nomadic pastoralists living along desert margins, horticulturalists and fishers in small and low-lying islands, farmers and pastoralists in high-altitudinal zones and hunters and herders across the Arctic.
To face these challenges, indigenous peoples are mobilizing their in-depth knowledge of the territories which have been the source of their livelihoods for generations. This indigenous knowledge operates at a much finer spatial and temporal scale than that of science, and includes understandings of how to cope with and adapt to environmental variability and trends.
Indigenous knowledge can thus make an important contribution towards climate change action on adaptation and mitigation (e.g. REDD+) and in recent years this has been formally recognized by IPCC and UNFCCC. Despite this recognition, the concerns, knowledge and aspirations of those most impacted by climate change continue to be marginalized in global climate policy and decision-making, due in part to the enormity of the challenge and the lack of methodologies to bring together diverse knowledge systems and worldviews.
In 2015, the UN Climate Conference in Paris will assemble a broad cross-section of the global community, including representatives from climate-vulnerable groups. It will provide an opportunity to reinforce linkages between indigenous knowledge and climate decision-making and highlight the interdependence of cultural diversity and our sustainable future.
The conference co-organized by UNESCO, the French National Museum of Natural History, Conservation International and Tebtebba, aims to raise awareness and share concrete examples of how traditional knowledge can interface with science and policy to foster resilience at the local level.