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Impacts and Indigenous Adaptation Strategies from the Amazon and Canada

December 1, 2015


Indigenous peoples depend a lot on and have a close relationship with their natural environment and resources, and therefore will be among the first to face the consequences of climate change. Even though they have contributed least to the global emissions, they are suffering disproportionately from the impacts of climate change and have been marginalized from participating in climate change policy and planning processes at local, national and international levels.

In this side event at COP21, indigenous leaders and delegates, Amazonian governments and environmental organisations from the Amazon and Canada spoke about how they have been affected by the impacts of climate change, and shared their indigenous strategies to adapt to the changing environment.

The Amazonian government have strategies to counter those threats like implementing a holistic management plan for the reserves and cultural mapping to preserve the traditional knowledge of the community and this includes ethnographic mapping. The Amazon government spoke about the right for food security of the Indigenous community, the finance for the proposed REDD+ in the area and the importance of traditional knowledge to be included into their plans for impact.

amazon indigenous peoples

photo credit: wikipedia

The speaker for Canada’s Indigenous Peoples gave a compelling speech that illustrated the strong and deep-rooted culture and world view of the Indigenous People. Indigenous Peoples still rely heavily on the natural environment for their livelihoods; hunting, fishing and tracking. And the natural environment is more than just a way to meet their daily needs but hold a deeper and more spiritual meaning to them. They spoke of the Grandmother spirits and how we are all connected, and understanding the world view of the Indigenous Peoples would allow people to find the right balance between the economy and the climate change.

The Indigenous Peoples own land, have laws and identifiable forms of government, and with their long histories of adapting to climate change, they can contribute significantly towards adaptation and mitigation efforts.



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