Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change

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© UNESCO

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

The LINKS programme promotes indigenous knowledge and its inclusion in global climate science and policy. Through community dialogues, field studies, publications and convening events at local, national and global levels, we support indigenous peoples, scientists and policymakers in understand how climate change impacts communities and how communities in turn use their knowledge to observe and respond.