Displaying 1-10 of 10 key documents
Source: UNESCO and UNU | June 2012
This report highlights scientific literature relating to the contribution of indigenous and traditional knowledge to understanding climate change vulnerability, resilience and adaptation. It aims to strengthen consideration of indigenous knowledge in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due for release in 2014.
The report, written for climate policymakers, includes topic overviews that include the identification of indigenous communities, understanding climate risks, vulnerabilities and adaptation, and the role of traditional knowledge in analysing vulnerability. It includes chapters on indigenous knowledge and science, and challenges in correlating indigenous and scientific observations.
Its authors note that despite the recognition of traditional knowledge as a vital tool for developing adaptation strategies, indigenous knowledge has remained largely outside the scope of IPCC assessments. Yet indigenous knowledge, practices and coping strategies can reinforce the adaptive capacity and resilience of communities. They warn that policies that undermine this capacity should be avoided.
Source: Forest Peoples Programme | 2012
This report provides estimated figures for indigenous and forest peoples' populations across the world.
It seeks to raise awareness and recognition of indigenous and forest peoples, and their role in the management and use of forests and its resources. The report includes estimated figures according to type of forest dependence, region and country. It aims to serve as a useful reference in advocacy for the recognition of forest peoples' legal and human rights.
The figures were collected from a range of sources, including publications from UN bodies, national governments, nongovernmental organisations, human rights, and environmental institutions and academia. The report highlights the lack of accurate and up-to-date data on indigenous and forest peoples and argues the critical need for further research to improve estimates.
Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) | January, 2009
This report — summarising a UNESCO innovation for development workshop — examines the role of innovation in development, and the contribution of knowledge, research and development to innovation. It focuses on knowledge in science, engineering and technology.
The report outlines analytical and theoretical frameworks as well as current innovation efforts and innovation policy. Major issues discussed at the workshop are highlighted in an action agenda, which suggests the need for more research and statistical indicators, dissemination of projects, human and institutional capacity building, better policy design and the need to increase awareness of innovation.
A separate report, which is included in the document, consolidates several themes that emerged from the talks, including the need to improve policy coherence, the difficulties of comparing innovation across countries or different points in time, the importance of capacity building, and the role of technology transfer in generating new knowledge. It also identifies challenges facing policymakers, the research community and international donors in achieving these goals. The report includes keynote speeches and links to Powerpoint presentations given at the conference.
This report reviews the achievements made by the 'Promotion of Grassroots Innovation in Asia-Pacific Countries' project, which aims to build capacity for member countries to source, document and disseminate grassroots innovation and traditional knowledge as a means of economic and social development.
The first section documents the theory and practice of grassroots innovation using case-studies of existing organisations, such as the Honey Bee Network. It illustrates the diversity of approaches used to engage with this type of innovation, as well as the ethical aspects of informed consent before obtaining knowledge from local populations. The second part describes advances made during national and regional workshops on the subjects of capacity-building, promoting grassroots innovation and creating partnerships.
Source: Climate Change Adaptation and Development Initiative (CC DARE), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
This paper suggests that research-based, small-scale interventions that help farming systems adapt to climate change can guide progress towards achieving food security and addressing the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.
It outlines lessons learnt from the Climate Change Adaptation and Development Programme jointly implemented by the UN Environment Programme and the UN Development Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The authors argue for a shift away from top-down, corporate approaches to agricultural research and practice, in favour of a democratic approach that involves giving more decision-making power to local people, including farmers and indigenous people. Small-scale initiatives reduce tillage, protect the soil surface and alternate cereal crops with legumes that enrich the soil.
The paper suggests that communicating food security solutions to the public can help balance vested interests and level the field in favour of small producers. Managed effectively, the current drought in the Horn of Africa offers a window of opportunity to re-establish food security as a global priority.
Source: World Agroforestry Centre | April 2011
This report synthesises the results of a review of 104 studies on gender and the adoption of agroforestry in Africa, and aims to identify strategies that challenge gender imbalances in development initiatives. It explores women's participation in agroforestry, including their ability to manage agroforestry practices, access to agroforestry information, and how they benefit from agroforestry.
The results highlight the substantial benefits that agroforestry can offer to rural women in Africa, mainly because it requires fewer resources than alternative enterprises. But women's participation is low, with limited access to information and markets, and a mixed record of successful management of agroforestry technologies.
The report provides several technological, policy and institutional recommendations for improving the efficiency of women's participation in agroforestry. They include domesticating important tree species, and ensuring that women have access to market information and microfinance. The report concludes by suggesting further research in areas such as measuring the income that women generate from agroforestry, and identifying the key ingredients of success stories across Africa.
Source: Tebtebba | September 2008
This guide, published by Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education), outlines the expected impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples around the world, and showcases traditional methods of climate change mitigation and adaption.
Following a basic introduction to climate change and the bodies, mechanisms and processes used for addressing it, the authors outline how climate change is impacting indigenous peoples in diverse ecosystems. For example, food and water insecurity arising from increased flooding or drought, and loss of biodiversity and traditional knowledge from rising temperatures.
The authors discuss the likely impacts of climate change mitigation measures highlighting, for example, the limitations of market-based strategies such as the Clean Development Mechanism. They discuss a range of alternative adaptation measures already being practiced by indigenous people, providing several case studies and examples of innovative strategies used in different regions. For example, African farmers using zero-tillage practices to moderate soil temperatures, Asian farmers growing varieties of crops to minimise the risk of harvest failure, and Honduran farmers using agroforestry and terracing to reduce erosion.
The authors go on to discuss measures for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and emphasise the need for indigenous people to be fully engaged in the debate.
Source: International council for science (ICSU) | March 2002
The World Conference on Science (organised by UNESCO in cooperation with ICSU and held in Budapest in 1999) called for broad collaboration between science and society to meet the challenges of the future. In particular, it noted that traditional and local knowledge systems can make a valuable contribution to science and technology, and that there is a need to protect and promote this knowledge.
The General Assembly of the ICSU acknowledged this, but emphasised that traditional knowledge must be distinguished from approaches that seek to promote anti- and pseudo-science. A study group was set up to advise the ICSU regarding further action; this report is the outcome of their efforts.
The group’s recommendations include the following:
Source: World Bank | January 2002
This paper is about the World Bank’s ‘Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program’, which was launched in 1998. It reflects on the experiences of the initiative, and the steps that could be taken to help communities and governments to integrate IK into the development process. The paper concludes that IK has been put on the international agenda but that some substantial challenges remain.
Priorities for the World Bank are:
Source: World Bank | November 1998
This paper has been prepared in the context of the World Bank’s Indigenous Knowledge for Development Initiative, which intends to develop a global knowledge partnership (a network of public, private and not-for-profit organisations from both developed and developing countries).
It highlights the involvement of the knowledge base of the poor and emphasises the importance of IK in development activities, stressing that integration of IK in development activities will improve their results.
The paper proposes a framework for action around four pillars: disseminating information; facilitating exchange of IK among developing-country communities; applying indigenous knowledge in the development process; and building partnerships.
A paper acts as an excellent introduction to IK-related issues, and the annexes provide several useful overviews and action plans for IK in development.
A French version is also available