Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change

September 11-12 2017, Indigenous Peoples from all regions met with States, UN bodies (UNFCCC and UNESCO) in Ottawa Canada to continue discussing the implementation of operative paragraph 135 of the United Nations Paris Agreement.  OP 135 recognizes the need to strengthen Indigenous Peoples’ “knowledge, practices, innovations and efforts” and also calls for the development of a new Traditional Knowledge Exchange Platform to mitigate Climate Change.

In this and other dialogues, IITC has continued to call upon States to change the policies and practices that undermine Indigenous Peoples ability to practice and protect their traditional knowledge in their homelands. These include industrial agriculture using GMO’s and pesticides, habitat destruction, restrictions on access to traditional lands and water, Treaty violations and continued fossil fuel development, as well as failure to implement Indigenous Peoples’ rights to Free Prior and Informed Consent and Cultural Heritage, among others.

IITC also continued to underscore the need to include Indigenous Traditional Knowledge holders, elders and practitioners in the development and implementation of the new Exchange Platform.  For example the participants in the 3rd International Indigenous Peoples Corn Conference, March 7 – 9, 2017, Tecpan, Guatemala, affirmed “that the new Platform for Traditional Knowledge Exchange under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is developed with the full and equal participation of Indigenous Peoples from all regions and especially our knowledge holders and traditional food producers and in a manner that fully respects our rights, traditional indigenous sciences and the richness of our ancestral knowledge” (from The Declaration of Tecpán).

The development of the Traditional Knowledge Exchange Platform will be a focus for IITC’s and other Indigenous Peoples’ participation in the 23rd Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which will take place in Bonn Germany from November 6-17, 2017.