Indigenous People and Climate Change


Source: Pexels | Faris Munandar

Recognized as among the most vulnerable people to the changing nature of sea-level rises and global weather systems and yet curiously absent from the front line of early climate change debates, indigenous people hold a valuable set of traditional knowledge that might represent an essential contribution to the creation of nature-based solutions to protect the coastlines of the world from the impacts of climate change and prevent from happening in the future.

As a source of definitive prescriptions about how communities should deal with a changing climate, science alone has proven inadequate. A mere technocratic approach to understand and deal with a phenomenon that involves all aspects of the relationship between human kind and the environment, is likely to exacerbate the climate crisis because it ignores the psychological, cultural, social, economic dynamics and the political systems that affect climate impacts. As man became more knowledgeable through science, he acquired much greater capacity to abuse the elements and forget the need to find harmony in all aspects of people’s lives.

Indigenous people feel climate change on their shoulders and at the same time, they hold knowledge acquired from past generations, to find new solutions to fight climate change. Because their decisions rely on the principle of sustainability and are based on the observation and deep understanding of nature, indigenous and local communities are the main knowledge-holders of the environment. As a result, is very probable that if this knowledge is combined with modern science and technology, a new holist way of measuring and fighting climate change will be found.