Winter seining on the island of Seiskari, Eastern Baltic, early 1900s.
Today an international team of scientists and Indigenous and local community authors releases the “2021 Compendium of Indigenous Knowledge and Local Knowledge: Towards Inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge and Local Knowledge in Global Reports on Climate Change”
This compendium represents steps towards the inclusion of Indigenous
Knowledge (IK) and local knowledge (LK) into international assessments.
The contributions within this compendium document how holders of IK and
LK observe, project, and respond to anthropogenic climate change. In
doing so, this compendium constitutes an invaluable resource to be
considered in international assessment reports, including the Working
Group II contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and beyond.
A detail from the Owae marae. Photo: Gleb Raygorodetsky
The need to include IK and LK in understanding climate change impacts,
developing adaptation and mitigation strategies, and governing climate
change actions has been called for years. Indeed, in 2011-2012, the IPCC
worked with the United Nations University to create forums where IPCC
Lead Authors and Chairs from the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) met and
interacted directly with Indigenous Peoples and local communities, both
in Mexico and in Australia. These interactions aimed to create, among
other things, opportunities for shared learning and to identify ways to
increase the inclusion of both IK and LK in IPCC assessment reports.
Then, in preparation for AR6, a group of IPCC AR6 WG2 authors met in
Faro, Portugal in January 2020, and agreed on steps to further increase
the participation of local communities and Indigenous Peoples, and their
knowledges, in international assessment reports. Specifically, the AR6
Pauliina Feodoroff, Skolt Saami leader, one of the authors of the report
authors aimed to mobilise IK and LK contributions in formats that are
“eligible” for inclusion in the IPCC assessment process, capturing
knowledge and evidence from these varied and diverse knowledge holders.
To achieve this goal, a call for contributions for this compendium was
launched. Importantly, the call for contributions prioritized and
privileged the voices and knowledges of Indigenous Peoples and local
communities. As such, this compendium only includes contributions
submitted by Indigenous Peoples and local community knowledge holders,
and includes first-person narratives, oral histories, and other formats.
While this compendium does not solve the challenges and shortcomings
related to the lack of meaningful inclusion of IK and LK in global
assessment reports, it is intended to serve as a starting point.
Indeed, shortly after the planning meeting in Portugal, the globe was shocked
and continues to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, given
the context of these tumultuous pandemic times, the editors felt that
the 2020 call for submissions to the Indigenous knowledge and local
knowledge compendium can serve as a model and a starting point for
yearly uptake. This open process applies principles of equity,
diversity, and inclusion to develop a rich evidence base covering a
range of voices, statements, and unfiltered and intact knowledge in a
format that can exist and dialogue with the IPCC processes, policies,