Adapting the Indigenous approach to Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation by People_Centered CC policies
Major constraints to achieving CC SDGs is the wide disconnect btw policies and practice not taking the affected into planning. #WithUSnot4US
SDG 13 is principally focused on Climate Actions and its a documented fact that climate change has affected more of the people in the poor and least developed nations who incidentally have little or no coping capacity and are at a crossroad of double impacts.
- They are impacted by the climate change related crisis such as disasters (flood, drought) loss/reduction of agricultural yield, health related issues
- They are also negatively impacted by the top-bottom climate adaptation strategies proposed and implemented by governments which ends up driving them into more poverty, increased hunger which also leads to increased pressure on resources such as forests or aquatic lives. E.g (Barriers to stem flooding, sand filling, Acute afforestation leading to loss of farmlands and means of livelihoods among others)
Majority of climate action taken to reduce impacts are discarded / rejected by locals because the traditional knowledge adopted by these communities to manage this impacts in the past are never put into consideration. the voices of the people are not also taken into account thus policies are not co-produced and therefore are not co-owned by the people for whom the solution is meant.
The project is dedicated to emphasizing the indigenous adaptation and mitigation techniques adapted by local communities in responding to climate change issues.
- collection and compilation of traditional knowledge systems with respect to climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies (CCAMS) through participatory data collection models that is co-produced and co-owned
- Breakdown of verbose scientific lingo with respect to specific Climate actions which are rejected / discarded by the locals into understandable language using stories, songs and folklore and assessment of the level of acceptance pre and post interpretation
What actions do you propose?
How do we mitigate against climate change impacts among the poor and most vulnerable when the goals adopted to make this happen mostly cause more impacts on the people?
The SDGs are well crafted plans of action aimed at improving the global wellbeing of individuals and communities with concise, achievable goals and indicators. However, some of the SDGs when not co-developed, co-planned and co-executed could eventually cause more harm on the people it was meant to improve.
for example: A community dependent on fishing as their means of livelihood living on the banks of the water bodies or on houses adaptively built to withstand flood events are evicted because the city is aiming to meet SDG 11(build sustainable cities), 13(reduce climate impacts via flooding) and 14 (preserve aquatic population) while eventually exacerbating the impacts of their actions on SDG 1(increased poverty), 2 (Hunger), 3 (Poor Health and well-being as a result of displacement), 4 (Inability for children to continue school) and 16 (Inhumane displacements, gentrification, forced evictions and threat to human rights).
In Reverse; if the city authority approach the people to understand how the people cope with the climate hazards while co-designing a more adaptive form of adaptation and educating the communities on the threat to aquatic life and sustainable ways of fishing while also improving sanitation conditions and upgrading the settlement through participatory planning and inclusive governance.
The expected solution would have been achieved while trade offs between the SDGs drivers are kept to a minimum.
This project is particular about improved climate action through understanding and integration of traditional knowledge systems in climate policies as well as translation of verbose scientific lingo into well constructed understandable basics which have direct implications on the lifes of the affected.
This is expected to lead to improved acceptance of adaptation and mitigation strategies which will in turn reduce the number of displaced persons due to climate hazards, reduce the level of poverty caused by the double impacts (SDG 1,2 ad 3) while also ensuring that justice is maintained by providing the most affected with the most solutions ingeniously and indigenously co-designed, produced and owned (SDG 16 and 17).
Indigenous knowledge systems (IDK), Global Climate Models (GCM) and Climate change (CC) are three disconnected terms in most indigenous communities especially Africa and Asia. this is largely because the science of climate change and GIS is often alien to communities and the individuals most impacted by Climate change who understand the changing climate in their indigenous ways and have devised means of adaptation most suited to them over generations passed down. these local knowledge-base are however not consulted by the diverse multi-scale climate models which drive and influence decision making in the government with respect to climate change adaptation and mitigation thus the disconnect between research, practice and implementation.
The science of CC in its quest to make the earth a more habitable planet for its inhabitants have engaged in numerous researches to understand the drivers, cause and effects of climate change as well as proposing models and methods of adaptation and mitigation to CC. however, this enormous research potential is going to waste because irrespective of its place in the politics and business of Climate change, it has done little or nothing for the most impacted of these hazards mainly due to the disconnect that exists in its approach and language of communication.
This gap in process, method, approach and language has left a gaping distrust of each body of knowledge by its counterpart and until the traditional/Indigenous is recognized in global climate discourse and remedies made towards integrating the genius knowledge of the local people in climate change policy making, especially as it relates to adaptation and mitigation, its success will keep being measured in its politics and not on the lives saved/Impact made.
1. Collecting Traditional / Indigenous Climate Change related knowledge, stories, experiences
The people at the very base of climate change impacts are the poor and vulnerable especially in third world countries where strategies are non-implemented, response time is poor and concern for the citizenry is weak.
The institution in most of these societies are built to wait until disaster strikes and then relief aids starts flowing in and international bodies begin to pile pressure on testing a new technology created in a developed nation which is expected to magically ease the problems from the people without recourse to the people themselves.
This project's approach is to engage with the people, the affected, the vulnerable (defined as vulnerable by alien standards), the indigenous in order to learn local ideas and historical methods/strategies of combating issues such as flooding, drought, low yield and local sensory methods of predicting these incidences.
The stories collected are reviewed, filtered and developed into traditional indicators for responding to climate change impacts. Our team is comprised of communications experts and individuals with vast experience is community led data collection and in story telling and de-mystifying traditional folklores.
2. Engage the Community with translated scientific methods/strategies
Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?
Where will these actions be taken and how could they scale?
In addition, specify the countries where these actions will be taken.
What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach?
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
About the Authors