Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous People and Adaptive Capacity of Bajo Tribe, Indonesia

  • Citation: Khursheed Ahmad Wani & Lutfah Ariana (2018) Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous People and Adaptive Capacity of Bajo Tribe, Indonesia, Environmental Claims Journal, 30:4, 302-313
    • Topics:
    • Transnational Issues
    • Keywords:
    • South-East Asia
    • indigenous peoples
    • climate change
    • forests
    • ecosystems
    • food security
    • Indonesia

With a long history and deep connection to the Earth’s resources, indigenous peoples have an intimate understanding and ability to observe the impacts linked to climate change. Traditional ecological knowledge and tribal experience play a key role in developing future scientific solutions for adaptation to the impacts. This review explores climate-related issues for indigenous communities in the world, including loss of traditional knowledge, forests and ecosystems, food security and traditional foods, as well as water, Arctic sea ice loss, permafrost thaw and relocation. Until the 21st century, indigenous peoples were viewed as victims of the effects of climate change, rather than as agents of environmental conservation. Representatives of indigenous peoples have in fact since 2008 been actively seeking a role in contributing to combating climate change through their participation in international environmental conferences, as well as by means of activism and political engagement at local and national levels. Using examples from the Amazonian region in the east of Ecuador, home to indigenous communities such as the Huaorani, Sápara and Sarayaku Kichwa origin peoples, this article argues that indigenous peoples, particularly forest dwellers, have a dual role in combating climate change. Over the years Bajo tribe have made adaptive mechanisms to cope with climate change. In the last 10 years indigenous peoples representatives have been collectively engaged in lobbying for inclusion in intergovernmental climate change negotiations and to have decision-making power at the United Nations. This article is an attempt to review the role of indigenous people in climate change and their adaptive mechanisms.

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