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New guide: Indigenous Peoples and Climate Technologies from UNEP-DTU

Picture credit:  A young fisherman walks under a living root bridge at Mawlynnong village, India. In the relentless damp of Meghalaya’s jungles the Khasi people have used the trainable roots of rubber trees to grow Jingkieng Dieng Jri living root bridges over rivers for centuries.  Photo from the book Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism by Julia Watson. Copyright: © Amos Chapple

Indigenous Peoples' knowledge on climate solutions can play a critical part in climate action. A new guide shows ways to integrate and strengthen Indigenous tech in national Technology Needs Assessments.

Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge of adapting to climatic change and their global contribution to a sustainable management of our shared natural resources are critical to combating climate change and its impacts.

Yet, their contribution often remains unacknowledged, and too often Indigenous Peoples have little access to the financial resources or forums for decision-making concerning the environment. This severely undermines opportunities for significant influence in climate policy, planning and action.

A new guidebook provides information on how to integrate relevant considerations on Indigenous Peoples and technologies into the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) process, while ensuring that their rights are safeguarded and the principle of free, prior and informed consent is upheld.

Download the guidebook here.

Acknowledging the diversity of knowledge systems

It is estimated that around six percent of the world’s population, over 476 million people, self-identify as Indigenous Peoples. According to estimates, they are protecting about 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity, covering nearly a quarter of the world’s surface area.

Throughout the TNA process, institutional, governmental, technical and national stakeholders are involved to facilitate that climate technologies are understood, accepted, supported and scaled when implemented. The country-driven nature of the TNA process is strengthened through the engagement with those, including Indigenous Peoples, who may be directly involved and/or affected by the technologies identified and prioritized in the process.

The new guidebook presents the various ways in which Indigenous Peoples draw on their knowledge to find solutions and technologies to mitigate and adapt to climate change that can help societies at large to cope with the impending changes.

Rather than being a prescriptive step-by-step guide on how to integrate these considerations, it aims to familiarize the reader with key concepts and to offer a better understanding of the importance of acknowledging the diversity of knowledge systems, as well as the role Indigenous Peoples’ technologies can play in this context.

Acknowledging the importance of technological change in reducing emissions, Technology Needs Assessments were directly referenced in the Paris Agreement and helping developing countries conduct effective Technology Needs Assessments and implement Technology Action Plans has become instrumental to the UNFCCC process.

The Technology Needs Assessment project, a major initiative funded by the Global Environment Facility, is being implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme and the UNEP DTU Partnership. Close to 100 countries have, since 2009, joined the TNA project.

Tags: Climate, Human rights, Biodiversity



IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Read more.

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