Climate change is one of, if not the greatest known issue facing our generation today. When the discussion arises Indigenous voices are commonly left out of the conversation. Research has demonstrated Indigenous peoples around the world are disproportionately affected by the results of climate change. These communities have harmonious relationships with the land and the surrounding environment, relying on traditional knowledge passed down through generations. These methods in “2021 demonstrated that Indigenous peoples were responsible for protecting an estimated 22% of the planet’s surface and 80% of biodiversity”.
Climate change exacerbates existing challenges like loss of land, resource depletion, from rising temperatures, extreme weather events. Research suggests that “biodiversity are equal, if not higher, in areas with a greater Indigenous presence and where Indigenous languages remain spoken”, further emphasizing the lack of acknowledgment towards the role of Indigenous communities in climate change solutions. My vision is that the response to climate change reports from policymakers will recognize, adequate fund and advocate for the distinct and valuable knowledge Indigenous peoples contribute towards the climate crisis.
My value lies strongly on the basis that empowering indigenous peoples and integrating their knowledge into climate policies and action plans is not sufficient, but necessary for effective climate change mitigation and adaptation.
In addition to my vision, needed intervention begins by recognizing Indigenous land rights, engaging communities in decision-making processes, and respecting their traditional “holistic, nature-focused knowledge”, to enhance resilience, foster sustainable development, and promote a more inclusive and equitable approach to addressing the global climate crisis.