Best practices and available tools for the use of indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for adaptation, and the application of gender-sensitive approaches and tools for understanding and assessing impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change
UN doc FCCC/TP/2013/11, 31 October 2013

To be considered during by UNFCCC Parties during the Climate Change Conference, to be held from 11-22 November 2013, in Warsaw, Poland, this technical paper provides a literature review and analysis of best practices and available tools for the use of indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for adaptation; and the application of gender-sensitive approaches and tools for understanding and assessing impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Drawing on an extensive list of literature and examples from diverse regions and sectors, and different decision contexts, the paper notes that to date, traditional knowledge has been mostly used to improve observation of climate change and its impacts and in vulnerability assessments. There is little evidence of the of the integration of traditional knowledge into the implementation and monitoring of adaptation. Moreover, existing approaches and tools in observation and assessments may not be robust enough to appropriately incorporate traditional knowledge into adaptation planning and implementation; rather, they serve primarily to increase the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making processes.

The following trends with regard to the tools and practices reviewed were noted: with respect to observation, local-level research by scientists, NGOs and indigenous peoples is being carried out, and there are also projects and initiatives to build synergies between TK and science for improved climate forecasting; under assessment, a range of participatory and information and communication technology tools are being used for vulnerability analyses that encourage the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities. However, it was noted that participation does not guarantee in and of itself that TK is adequately and appropriately built into adaptation; and under planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation, tools or modalities that recognize and incorporate TK have yet to be developed and piloted. To address the identified gaps, it is recommended that initial guidelines are developed on approaches and tools for the use of TK in adaptation through a process involving transdisciplinary natural and social science experts and relevant knowledge holders from indigenous and local communities. Download the paper [pdf] … Visit the website of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference …

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