Indigenous knowledge at the Planet Under Pressure 2012 international science conference

Indigenous knowledge and sustainable futures: community-based evaluations of climate change vulnerability, adaptation and innovations

A panel at Planet Under Pressure 2012

Wednesday 28 March 2012 - Challenges to progress, 14:00, Room 11

Convenors: Douglas Nakashima, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); John Scott, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)

Chair: Hans Thulstrup, UNESCO

When addressing global environmental change, the knowledge and priorities of indigenous peoples and local communities are seldom considered in decision-making. Yet indigenous peoples and local communities are acute observers of local environmental shifts and trends, and they have developed strategies to cope and to adapt. Local and indigenous knowledge thus offers numerous insights into environmental change and complements broader-scale scientific research with local precision and nuance. Recognizing that climate change adaptation must be rooted in local priorities, UNESCO and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity co-convene a panel on "Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Futures" at the international science conference Planet Under Pressure, 26-29 March 2012 in London. Within the framework of their joint project Climate Frontlines, the panel brings together indigenous experts and researchers to discuss the contributions of community-based knowledge in assessing environmental change, adapting livelihoods and shaping national goals and global priorities, with case studies from the Sahel, the South Pacific, North America and the Himalayas. The moderated discussion session will seek to advance global sustainability by building synergies among knowledge systems so as to enhance equity and effectiveness of environmental governance.

Panel Case Studies

Linking African pastoralist and scientific knowledge: Mbororo in Chad by Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Association des Femmes Peules Autochtones du Tchad

Local knowledge and environmental fluctuations in the Western Pacific: new approaches to sustainability and climate adaptation in Vanuatu by Dr. Carlos Mondragón, El Colegio de México

The observations of Navajo elders and the refining of our understanding of conventional scientific records by Dr. M.H. Redsteer, US Geological Survey; Dr. K.B. Kelley, Navajo Nation & H. Francis, Navajo Nation

Supporting and Mainstreaming Transhumance-agropastoralism in Policy and Development: an Option for Climate Change Adaptation by Mr. Lila Nath Sharma, Tribhuvan University, Nepal


For more information on the presenters, please click here.

For more information on Planet Under Pressure, please go to: For the conference notification on this session, please go to