Dialogue between indigenous and scientific knowledge on weather and climate: Enhancing pastoralists’ adaptation to climate change in Africa
Holders of a rich knowledge about their environment, African pastoralists have developed an intimate understanding of the weather and climate of the territories they inhabit, based on detailed observations of meteorological events, climate variability, animal and plant phenology, and other elements. The inclusion of the knowledge developed by these peoples becomes particularly relevant in a context characterised by a changing climate, in which scientists work to improve understanding of weather and climate, and policy-makers aim at enhancing the adaptation of local communities to new situations.
As part of the UNESCO Initiative ‘Knowing our changing climate in Africa’, the UNESCO workshop titled “Dialogue between indigenous and scientific knowledge on weather and climate: Enhancing pastoralists’ adaptation to climate change in Africa”, will give holders of both indigenous and scientific knowledge an opportunity to exchange their understandings on weather and climate.
This encounter to be held in Mekelle from 28 to 30 August 2017, will facilitate a constructive collaboration between these two different systems of understanding weather and climate in order to consolidate a joint approach towards understanding climate change.
This event will also promote a national dialogue with key actors in the field of climate change in Ethiopia. The inclusion of pastoralists’ knowledge about weather and climate in current actions regarding climate change represents a fundamental asset which can enhance their adaptation to changing climate conditions. As pastoralists’ livelihoods are intrinsically determined by weather and climate conditions, strengthening these peoples’ resilience by identifying synergies with scientific knowledge will potentially reinforce a population living in the frontlines of climate change.