Indigenous peoples on the front lines of climate change: Conference at UNESCO, 26 and 27 November

Resilience in a time of uncertainty: Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change is the title of a conference at UNESCO Headquarters on 26 and 27 November, when participants will take stock of the impact of climate change on indigenous peoples and examine ways to reinforce their resilience.

In organizing the event ahead of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21), UNESCO—supported by France’s National Natural History Museum and the indigenous peoples’ organization, Tebtebba—recognizes the fact that indigenous peoples’ ways of life are closely linked to natural cycles and environmental developments, making them particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

The Samis of northern Europe, Berbers living in the High Atlas in Morocco, indigenous villagers in Alaska, or Vanuatu communities in the Pacific Ocean, to name but a few, are experiencing the adverse effects of climate change very keenly, although they contribute little to its causes. Indigenous peoples are developing coping strategies to meet the dangerous challenges posed by rising sea levels, melting glaciers and long periods of drought.

Assistant UNESCO Director-General Flavia Schlegel will open the Conference with France’s Environment and Sustainable Development Minister, Ségolène Royal, and Kayapo Chief Raoni Metuktire from Brazil’s Amazon rainforest region, and Bolivia’s Vice Minister for Planning.

Over the two days of the Conference, experts and representatives of indigenous peoples will present studies about and first-hand accounts of the challenges posed by climate change and activities undertaken to strengthen the resilience of the communities concerned.

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Accreditation is mandatory for journalists wishing to attend the event :

Media contact médias, Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Media Services: +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon(at)unesco.org

More information: http://indigenous2015.org/