From Peru to the Philippines, UNEP Presents Grassroots Solutions to the Impacts of Climate Change
UNEP news release, 1 December 2012

DOHA, QATAR: Grassroots projects can guide the policies needed to build climate resilience, reverse the loss of natural resources and contribute to an inclusive green economy, according to a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) booklet launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar. “Seeds of Knowledge” aims to show that grassroots, community-led responses are already playing an essential role in building resilience to climate change across all regions of the world. With the right levels of investment and support, such initiatives can be scaled up and become a central component in reducing climate risks and supporting the transition to an inclusive green economy. It features case studies from Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Jordan, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Senegal and Turkey. Case studies address, among others, the radio broadcast used by indigenous communities in Peru’s southern Andean highlands. Read the release …

Food, Water and Livelihoods in Pacific Islands under Increasing Threat from Climate Change
UNEP news release, 4 December 2012

DOHA, QATAR: Island communities in the Pacific Ocean are facing unprecedented challenges to their economies and environment from the impacts of climate change, according to the “Pacific Environment and Climate Change Outlook,” prepared by SPREP in partnership with UNEP and other organizations and released at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha. Sea level rise, tropical cyclones, floods and drought, combined with pressures from unsustainable fishing practices and coastal development, and consumption and production trends, are rendering the livelihoods of some 10 million people increasingly vulnerable. Covering 21 countries and territories, mostly small, low-lying island communities, the report provides a detailed assessment of the state of the Pacific environment, and lays out policy options for improving sustainable development in island communities. The study highlights successful efforts to create community-managed conservation areas, such as marine parks, which have used indigenous knowledge to improve recycling, energy efficiency and sustainable water use. Such techniques can be scaled up, and serve as a model for other regions. In addition, destruction of coral reefs, mangrove forests and sea grass beds as development proceeds, suggests the need for a better strategy with the involvement of local communities using their traditional knowledge and practices. Read the release … Download the report [pdf] …

Indigenous people in Colombia have a plan to protect their environment from climate change
World Bank release, 29 November 2012

PUTUMAYO, COLOMBIA: With the assistance of a grant from the World Bank’s Development Marketplace, indigenous people of the Putumayo department in Colombia elaborated five environment management plans that include studies and maps allowing them to better adapt to climate change. They developed the plans with the help of modern technology, with a research methodology, as well as the ancient knowledge of the indigenous communities. The indigenous communities themselves gathered some samples and information after being trained in the use of GPS devices and basic cartography. The finished documentation includes registers of plants, with their name and use by indigenous people, 5 ecological calendars, regulation norms and 44 maps that show where the flora and fauna can be found, where indigenous people hunt, and where their holy places are. Read the release …

Climate Conversations – Mapping a route through climate change in Chad
Giacomo Rambaldi, AlertNet, 26 November 2012

N’DJAMENA, CHAD: The M’bororo people have a deep understanding passed down through generations of their land and its climate conditions. They know how to read the signs offered by nature. Scientists, on the other hand, hold the key to interpreting the impacts of the latest research. If these two groups could come together and pool their combined expertise, perhaps the M’bororo people could maintain their traditional way of life and the scientists would gain from a more profound understanding of the areas. This was in fact the first stage in a process to address the climate change challenge and its far-reaching effects in Chad. A meeting was held in N’Djamena, Chad in November 2011, which produced the N’Djamena Declaration on traditional knowledge and climate adaptation. It was however a participatory mapping exercise in August 2012 that has had the most lasting effect on the M’bororo people, who made a significant contribution identifying six tree species protected under their customary law. These trees have both medicinal and ecosystem functions and have acted as navigation reference points over the years. Read the article …

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