UNU Publishes Toolkit on Traditional Knowledge and Climate Science

26 July 2013. Climate change is expected to have a severe impact on indigenous communities due to their location in vulnerable habitats, including small islands, high altitude zones, desert margins and the circumpolar Arctic. At the same time, resilience in the face of a changing environment is embedded in indigenous knowledge and know-how. Recognizing that community-based and local knowledge may offer valuable insights on climate induced changes, and complement broader-scale scientific research with local precision and nuance, the United Nations University (UNU) has published a Toolkit exploring the integration between traditional knowledge and climate science.

The Toolkit on Traditional Knowledge and Climate Science provides access to links and reference to a wealth of resources aimed at assisting indigenous peoples, local communities, policy makers and other stakeholders in accessing research on climate change adaptation and mitigation. These resources can also be adapted for various climate change awareness and education initiatives at the local, regional and national levels.

The resources included in the toolkit may be of particular value as introductory material for various issues sessions, as background material when conducting local or regional assessments, to assist in reviews of policies and practices, or to contribute to dialogues between traditional knowledge holders and climate scientists.

The toolkit, available in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese, is structured around the following themes, each one addressed in a dedicated chapter:

  • Can REDD forests ever become green? – This article provides resources to analyze REDD projects and their effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while benefitting indigenous peoples.
  • Energy innovation and traditional knowledge – This article discusses renewables-based energy sovereignty as a way to revitalize indigenous communities while mitigating climate change impacts.
  • Land use, climate change adaptation and indigenous peoples – This article analyses indigenous knowledge and land use for effective adaptation to climate change.

Additionally, the toolkit provides links to 13 video-interviews that establish a relation between indigenous knowledge, climate change and education and capacity development.

To access the toolkit: