Front Page - Climate Change and what to do about it.
iBerry Hub - Latest news and information on Climate Change.
ACTION! - Where do we go from here? - Wake up! What can be done by the powers that be and YOU?.
Contact iBerry - Views, comments, contributions and help are all very welcome!
Learning more about Climate Change - Includes Infrequently Asked Questions.
Green Jobs - Job-seekers support.
Mainly for Young People - Climate Change links and information.
Eco-anxiety - Eco-anxiety and what to do about it.
Contributions - Write about aspects, experiences of Climate Change etc for iBerry.
Climate Change and Environment - iBerry's Open Directory for all.
It's very well known that humans are responsible for Climate Change and harming the environment in so many ways.
Really? What about indigenous peoples and thousands of years in the past when sustainable living was the human norm? Has our modern, non-indigenous, industrial civilization changed everything for the worse over a mere couple of hundred years? ("Non-Indigenous Culture": Implications of a Historical Anomaly has some good answers.) Indigenous peoples may only be about 5% of the world's population but they use about a quarter of the world's land surface and maintain more than three quarters of the planet's biodiversity. Ecologists are waking up to the deeper knowledge traditional people have of the natural world.
Indigenous values can help in addressing today's social and ecological issues.The UN accepts that the cultural practices and traditions of indigenous peoples can play an important role.The balance between humankind and nature has become badly upset but indigenous traditions respect the strong bonds that connect people with the Earth and all life. Biodiversity and natural resources are protected on the basis of ancestral knowledge and indigenous peoples can adopt the 'perspective' of other living things, even rocks, water and clouds. Non-indigenous people believe they can own land whereas the indigenous believe that they belong to the land.
What we can we learn from indigenous peoples? Indigenous cultures may differ but there are common threads. Some examples:
Indigenous rights belong to peoples who originally occupied land that was conquered and colonized by outsiders. This includes rights over land as well as language, religion, and cultural identity. Protecting indigenous rights benefits the indigenous but as a UN forum declared, the whole world will benefit. For example, analysis shows that rainforests managed by indigenous peoples and local communities play a very significant role in reducing carbon emissions. Largely untouched forested lands store more carbon than they emit due to traditional and sustainable land management and biodiversity loss is also reduced.
A recent UN report states that ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples to lands, territories and resources addresses some of the most pressing global challenges such as climate change and environmental degradation.
threats are growing worldwide.
While indigenous knowledge and practices can be beneficial in many ways proper respect should be paid to the cultures involved. In the past, colonizers took and used whatever they liked almost regardless of how this could affect indigenous people themselves who were seen as culturally primitive and backward. Cultural appropriation is disrespectful. Even now images, artefacts and traditional practices are taken out of context for entertainment or commercial purposes with no understanding of their significance to the people of the indigenous cultures involved.
So what approach should be taken to the knowledge of indigenous peoples and their values? Indigenous knowledge is best discovered by building mutually beneficial and genuinely supportive relationships with indigenous communities. As an example, integrating some traditional medical practices with modern medicine may be just as beneficial for modern societies as judicious use of modern medicine may be in protecting indigenous communities. It is unrealistic and inappropriate to view all indigenous practices or traditions as somehow saintly and ripe for emulation. However, there are certainly aspects concerning climate change, the environment and sustainable lifestyles that have obvious relevance for modern life and should not be overlooked.