Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples and their Responses to its Effect


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Moki Kokoris – Chapter Coordinator-in-Chief

Department of Public Information Representative for the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations
Contact Information: 600 Barrack Hill Road, Ridgefield CT 06877 – .



Stephen Sachs - Coordinating Editor of Indigenous Policy (at: )Contact Information: Professor Emeritus of Political Science, IUPUI, 1916 San Pedro Dr. NE , Albuquerque , NM 87110, (505)265-9388.  



The Issue
Even though indigenous peoples contribute little to the anthropogenic causes of climate change, it is they who are among the first to face its consequences because their lifestyles are directly dependent on their environment and its resources. Climate change poses threats and dangers to the survival of indigenous communities worldwide, and yet, it should be noted that because indigenous peoples are active in the ecosystems of their lands and territories, their traditional knowledge is therefore critical in finding creative solutions which may help society as a whole to cope with the impending changes.

In order for the world community to hear their wisdom, it is crucial that these all too often marginalized groups not only be given an equal voice but also a seat at the same table where these matters are discussed. This will foster solidarity with the world at large and provide a receptive atmosphere for development of the most unique solutions for the benefit of one and all.

The objectives of this declaration mandated report, specifically this chapter, are to create and provide a collaborative vehicle to:

• Assess critical risks to indigenous communities, focusing on economic, social, environmental and security issues, and to establish needs and priorities for information and action;

• Assess the specific vulnerabilities of individual local indigenous community infrastructures, to develop an action plan with suitable options, and to incorporate climate considerations in future infrastructure planning;

• Stimulate debate and encourage indigenous peoples, small island communities, and other aboriginal groups living in vulnerable environments to collect, document and share their observations and experiences of climate change impacts, as well as their efforts to cope and adapt to sea level rise, climate variability, the increased intensity and frequency of extreme climatic events, accelerated melting of circumpolar or high altitude snow and ice, and other climate change related events;

• Present them in a manner that will be effectively heard by governments and organizations involved in decision-making in those regions;

• Work with aboriginal leaders and organizations to develop options and plans for addressing the cultural and social impact of climate change and assist in identifying adaptation solutions, resources and tools available to them.

• Review existing policies and legislation, including land claims and implementation plans, as well as indigenous dimensions of international initiatives, to identify major gaps and options for addressing climate change policies;

• Raise awareness, and develop and disseminate information and knowledge on climate change impacts affecting indigenous communities in the context of overconsumption of resources (particularly energy, food and water) and their rising scarcity, compounded by excessive population growth and other related environmental changes;

• Develop local capability to plan and implement adaptation in diverse sectors of community management in a manner that increases overall adaptive capacity and resiliency to climate change impacts.

• Develop management frameworks to integrate adaptation in policy, planning, and decision-making.

• Assist in developing strategies to legally contest invasion of indigenous lands for the purposes of exploitation resulting from resource scarcity..



(1)  Working Group Logo designed by Moki Kokoris