The Search for Legal Remedies
Edited by Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk
Chapter 6: Indigenous environmental knowledge and climate change adaptation
Certain climate change impacts are now unavoidable. The importance of adapting to climate change impacts has become increasingly clear, particularly at the local and regional scales. Many entities are looking to community-based adaptation as a place-based response, and a vehicle for empowering individuals, families and peoples. In regions across the world, including the Pacific, an appeal to indigenous environmental knowledge (IEK) is also emerging. This chapter explores the possible integration of IEK into the laws governing climate change adaptation. Integration of IEK, in the adaptation context, describes at least two different phenomena. It describes the indigenous methods used to respond to historical extremes that climate forecasts portend with greater frequency and severity – such as floods and drought – and suggests proven adaptations. It can also describe a lens, or worldview, with which decisions should be made that might facilitate long-range, multigenerational adaptive governance.
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