Indigenous peoples are the real climate experts. So why aren’t we listening to them?

Indigenous peoples are the real climate experts. So why aren’t we listening to them?

When indigenous peoples have access and rights to their lands, nature and people are better off                     Image: REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

Everything old is new again, at least when it comes to searching for workable and proven solutions to addressing climate change. Indigenous peoples have developed, over time, innovative climate-smart practices rooted in traditional knowledge and their relationship with nature.

Traditional knowledge is a blend of passed down observations, experiences, practices, and information about the intimate relationship between indigenous peoples, their local environment and culture. It evolves gradually and this allows communities to adapt to their local realities and respond to their practical needs. This knowledge is valuable not only to those who depend on it for their day-to-day lives, but has been vital to modern innovations in areas such as medicine, food production, agricultural practices, rainwater harvesting, sustainable management of marine resources, and fire management of large landscapes, to name but a few. Read more…