Indigenous Researchers Call For Urgent Global Climate Action
Gathering under the banner of the International Indigenous Climate Change Research Summit (IICCRS) from November 13th to 17th, 2023, Indigenous researchers and leaders from across the globe convened to address the increasingly urgent climate crisis.
"We are the stewards of our lands, our cultures, and the guardians of invaluable knowledge," says Co-Chair of the summit Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora, encapsulating the sentiment echoed by delegates. “The summit has demonstrated that Indigenous researchers and communities have a strong contribution to make to mitigating the impacts of climate change and these contributions must be part of any solutions concerning us. No decisions about us without us!”.
The summit has released a communiqué this week to summarize proactive measures to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Co-Chair Dr Shaun Awatere comments “The summit's communiqué serves as a compelling testament to the critical role of Indigenous wisdom and proactive evidenced measures that can be taken to combat climate change.” Emphasizing the need for immediate action, the communiqué calls upon global leaders and stakeholders to heed the following key imperatives:
1. Integration of Indigenous Wisdom: Upholding and integrating Indigenous traditional knowledge into policies and decision-making processes are critical steps towards comprehensive climate solutions.
2. Protection of Indigenous Rights: Recognition and safeguarding of Indigenous land rights, ensuring protection from exploitation, and offering support for communities displaced by climate-induced changes are paramount.
3. Empowerment of Indigenous-Led Initiatives: Strengthening Indigenous-led enterprises, integrating traditional land management practices into broader climate strategies, and ensuring access to essential services like clean water and healthcare are vital steps towards sustainable futures.
4. Collaborative Partnerships for Action: Foster collaborative partnerships between institutions and Indigenous communities, support community-driven climate solutions, and establish international networks for sharing climate action strategies.
"We stand united, calling upon global leaders to turn rhetoric into action," urged Dr Awatere. "This communiqué signifies our unwavering commitment to preserve our lands, cultures, and futures amidst the escalating climate crisis."