Authorship in IPCC AR5 and its implications for content: climate change and Indigenous populations in WGII
James D. Ford, Will Vanderbilt and Lea Berrang-Ford
Climatic Change, November 2011, doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0350-z

This essay examines the extent to which we can expect Indigenous Knowledge, understanding, and voices on climate change (‘Indigenous content’) to be captured in WGII of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), based on an analysis of chapter authorship. Reviewing the publishing history of 309 chapter authors to WGII, nine (2.9%) of them have published on climate change and Indigenous populations and have been involved as authors in 6/30 chapters. Drawing upon recent scholarship highlighting how authorship affects structure and content of assessment reports, the article argues that, unaddressed, this will affect the extent to which Indigenous content is examined and assessed. While it is too late to alter the structure of AR5, there are opportunities to prioritize the recruitment of contributing authors and reviewers with expertise on Indigenous issues, raise awareness among CAs on the characteristics of impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability faced by Indigenous peoples, and highlight how Indigenous perspectives can help broaden our understanding of climate change and policy interventions. Read the full text …

The impact of climate change on indigenous people – the implications for the cultural, spiritual, economic and legal rights of indigenous people
Jay Williams
The International Journal of Human Rights, November 2011, doi: 10.1080/13642987.2011.632135

The aim of this article is to critically examine the impact of climate change on indigenous people and to assess the legal rights available to those communities to seek redress. Part 1 of the paper examines the catastrophic and devastating impact of climate change on indigenous people. Part 2 provides a survey of the most recent legal decisions at a national, regional and international level and provides an analysis of the emerging academic commentary in the field. Part 3 critically examines the major historical, philosophical and institutional limitations of the Western juridical tradition to protect and uphold the rights of indigenous people. As such, the focus of the paper is strictly on litigation and it does not engage with the vitally important issues of policy, mitigation and adaptation, from which, in any case, indigenous people have been largely excluded. While there have been positive developments in case law, the literature reveals that climate change litigation offers little hope for indigenous people. The article concludes by arguing that current domestic and international legal systems as presently constructed are incapable of protecting the unique rights of indigenous people and culminates in a call for the establishment of an International Court for Human Rights and an International Court for the Environment to prevent the destruction of the traditional homelands of indigenous people and the extinction of humanity’s oldest people. Read the abstract …

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