Indigenous and Local Knowledge in a Scoping Study for a Nordic IPBES Assessment Report has been released today. It is available here. It has been published by the Swedish Biodiversity Center. The report is summarized as:
“There is a multitude of local cultures and customary uses of biological resources, and a variety of local subsistence systems all over the world, including the Nordic region. The need to include the knowledge and worldviews they are based upon in assessments of biological diversi- ty and ecosystem services, is today recognized in many fora. This is especially true when the aim is to evaluate mankind’s dependence of and impact on biological resources as a base for present and future policy and decisions. The local communities and their cultures and knowledge are in the IPBES context referred to as “indigenous and local knowledge” (ILK). IPBES has since it’s beginning agreed to recognize and respect indigenous and local knowledge in all its functions.
The effort to evaluate the mutual impact between today’s status and trends of biological diversity and local communities all over the region in a Nordic IPBES assessment is dependent on a sincere participation process. To achieve a full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in the context of a regional IPBES assessment is a challenge. IPBES still is in the process of developing its methods and procedures, and this scoping study is contributing to this experience.
The overall aim to transfer the local perspective and knowledge into a more abstract regio- nal summary with the complexity of today’s society is likely to lead to simplifications. Thus it is important to incorporate the local perspective in the background process of preparing an assessment, and have a continuous ILK-referee mechanism in order to ensure that the drawn conclusions aren’t erroneously made from the local perspective.
This report is focusing on how effective local participation could be achieved to a certain degree to reach a deeper understanding regarding how the local communities are being affected by global change, such as changes in climate, biological diversity and political decisions. The report is based on four different studies: a Nordic ILK-workshop held in the vicinity of Uppsala in June 2015, a ILK-questionnaire regarding perceived observations as well as perspectives on participation processes, a series of local workshops in Finland arranged by Snowchange Cooperative, and an interview and literature study on the interface of ILK and citizen science (another important measure to reach a trustworthy assessment).”