Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change

Number of pages: 8
Release year: 2009

Tags: Climate action

For many indigenous peoples, climate change is already a reality. Melting ice sheets in the Arctic makes hunting sea mammals and fishing difficult and risky, erratic rainfalls reduce productivity of fields and pastures, storms and floods destroy crops and homes. While indigenous peoples’ diverse and resilient livelihood systems have enabled them to survive in often harsh and forbidding environments, the speed by which climate is changing is putting to the test the abilities of indigenous communities to adapt. Climate change however not only puts indigenous livelihood systems under stress, it also undermines indigenous human rights. For long it has been overlooked that climate change and the mitigation and adaptation schemes devised by governments and international organisations are often directly violating the rights of indigenous peoples. Furthermore, little attention has been paid to the potentially invaluable contributions of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge, innovations and practices in the global search for viable solutions for the many problems caused by climate change. This Briefing Paper was prepared for the UNFCCC Intersessional Meeting in Bangkok, 2009
Download publication


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

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
CVR: 81294410

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you do not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand