Local Knowledge, Global Goals

The 'Local Knowledge, Global Goals' poster series is a reflection on indigenous and local knowledge systems, and their interactions with science and policy, today and in the future.

As the world changes increasingly rapidly, we explore the ways that indigenous and local knowledge contributes to understanding, mitigating and adapting to climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.

UNESCO’s Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programme (LINKS), established in 2002, is grateful to Denmark, France (ANR, CNRS and MNHN), Japan, Norway, Sweden, IPBES, the Christensen Fund and UNU for their support during the past 15 years.

This project is supported by the Japanese Funds-In-Trust for UNESCO (JFIT) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).


"Those who cannot name the good things of sea and land, cannot find them, and therefore cannot eat or otherwise benefit from them, nor will they know how to look after them well."

People of Marovo lagoon, Solomon Islands

"Ria pu kadi gura vakila ni tingitonga leadi pu ko pa idere oro pa goana, hara ngina kadi gura pita ni ria, heni ngina kadi gura ngoi tu ria ba vaei pule tingitonga leadi tadiria tingitonga pira, madi ngina kadi atei ni ria ia tinavete arilaena pata chakei valeana ni ria pa kalena saena pu maena."



Strong roots for the Sustainable Development Goals

Local and indigenous knowledge, A timeline

Revitalising knowledge across generations


You talk to the country, talk to the [ancestral] Yolngu, so that he knows you. You talk to them: ‘Give us something! We are the generation after you! Brrrr!’

Yolgnu elder, Blue Mud Bay Northern Australia



words to worldviews                                 

Gender & knowledge, Complementary ways of knowing

Dynamism of ‘traditional’ knowledge                     

Adaptive knowledge for variability and change

Rain discriminates between two horns of an ox.

Afar proverb, Ethiopia

One year is not the brother of another year.

Sami Proverb Li leat jauni jack viella



Community-based assessments of global climate changes

Vulnerability and resilience in a world of change

Monitoring biodiversity loss                     

Co-managing species and spaces                     

We are humble people yet, at the same time, very proud…  We conserve nature and continue to live surrounded by living beings, both plants and animals.

Mayangna people, Nicaragua

Muih as yayamni yangnadawi bik alas muihkina kat bik kulna lâni nuhni dûta yangna…  Mayangna sulani kapat, dî apakyang yangna yaihkitna yakat dî sangnika dûwa balna.



Overcoming opposing worldviews                     

Towards trandisciplinary understandings

Synergies between scientific & indigenous knowledge

Co-producing knowledge                                                       



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