Indigenous peoples and local communities are often on the frontlines of global environmental change – including climate change – due to their close interdependence with their territories and areas. They may face more severe impacts if they live in vulnerable ecosystems such as small islands, deltas, high altitude mountains, deserts and the Arctic. However, indigenous peoples and local communities have long managed variability, uncertainty and change through many generations of interaction with the environment. Indigenous and local knowledge systems and customary protocols can play a significant role in monitoring, preparing for and responding to climate change and extreme weather events, including in new situations such as climate-induced migration.
Indigenous peoples and local communities must be involved in decisions that affect them in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction and ecosystem restoration. Their rights, including to provide or withhold free, prior and informed consent, must be fully recognised and respected in relevant laws, policies, programmes and financing mechanisms, including those that could have perverse negative effects on ICCAs and their custodians.
At the international level, ICCA Consortium Members have been actively involved in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), promoting the contributions of indigenous and traditional knowledge (particularly in the African region), and conducting critical analyses of land use change, climate finance schemes (such as the Green Climate Fund) and market- and results-based payment mechanisms. ICCA Consortium Members are also involved in work on climate change and ecosystem restoration under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In particular, Parties to the CBD recognise the role of ICCAs in strengthening ecosystem connectivity and resilience, maintaining essential ecosystem services and supporting biodiversity-based livelihoods (CBD Decision X/33, para 8(i)). Parties called for support for ICCAs and respect for indigenous peoples’ and communities’ traditional customary knowledge and practices when planning and implementing ecosystem restoration activities (CBD Decision XIII/5, Annex, para 15(1)). ICCAs are also recognised in CBD Technical Series No. 85 on “Experiences with Ecosystem-Based Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction”. As ICCAs often encompass more than one ecosystem, they can be seen as “territory-based” (rather than “ecosystem-based”) approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
“Time is Water”: Discussing New Perspectives and Ideas at the Global Conference for the Study of the Commons
How to manage our ‘commons’? This question has been the focus of wide-ranging discussions at the 17th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons (IASC), entitled ‘In Defense of the Commons: Challenges, Innovation, and Action’. Read more ▸
UN Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment: report to… Read more “UN Special Rapporteur report on human rights and climate change (2016)” ▸
Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (endorsed in 2015) English | French | Spanish
Paris Agreement, UNFCCC (adopted 2015) English | French | Spanish
Article : “Arctic Indigenous Peoples Leading the Way in Ecological Restoration” Hannibal Rhoades and Tero Mustonen (2017) Summary: A major new international study has… Read more “Arctic Indigenous Peoples Leading the Way in Ecological Restoration” ▸
Video: “Climate Governance: A matter of survival for nomadic pastoralists” IPACC (2016)
An Introduction to Integrating African Indigenous & Traditional Knowledge in National Adaptation Plans, Programmes of Action, Platforms and Policies
Report: “An Introduction to Integrating African Indigenous & Traditional Knowledge in National Adaptation Plans, Programmes of Action, Platforms and Policies” Nigel Crawhall, IPACC (2016)… Read more “An Introduction to Integrating African Indigenous & Traditional Knowledge in National Adaptation Plans, Programmes of Action, Platforms and Policies” ▸
Synthesis report on experiences with ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
Report: “Synthesis report on experiences with ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction” Veronica Lo (2016) Secretariat of the Convention on… Read more “Synthesis report on experiences with ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction” ▸
As the Amazon forest continues to burn for more than 20 days without effective action being taken by the Brazilian and Bolivian governments, COICA is calling out to international allies for solidarity and urgent assistance, to gather funds to stop fires and help local communities recover. Read more ▸
As the Amazon continues to burn and the world watches in horror, Simone Lovera from Global Forest Coalition, ICCA Consortium Member, reminds us of the largest root causes of the fires: industrial beef and soy production. Read more ▸
This article, from the Journal for Nature Conservation, recognizes the central role of ICCAs – territories of life in conservation. It demonstrates that their recognition among academics is increasing dramatically. Read more ▸
Report : Enemies of the State? How Governments and Business Silence Land and Environmental Defenders
How is violence used against individuals and communities, mostly indigenous, who defend their lands and environment? This Global Witness report analyses 2018 key data and figures, along with human stories about the criminalisation and killings of land and environment defenders. Read more ▸