United Nations University

Key Issues Guide on Indigenous knowledge and climate change

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Indigenous communities have long been recognised as being particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to the close connection between their livelihoods, culture, spirituality and social systems and their environment. At the same time, however, this deep and long-established relationship with the natural environment affords many indigenous peoples with knowledge that they have long used to adapt to environmental change, and are now using to respond to the impacts of climate change.

The potential of indigenous knowledge for informing observations of, and responses to climate change is an area of growing interest. The United Nations University published a compendium, available online, which presents a wide-ranging overview of more than 400 projects, case studies and research activities specifically related to climate change and Indigenous Peoples (IP).

That  publication, as well as other resources, can be  found on the website of the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex (UK): Click here

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

IHDP Writing Contest: Win a prize and be published!

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Contest for new writing on the green economy, deadline 15 September

The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (otherwise known as IHDP), which is part of the United Nations University, has announced a competition for new short essays on the green economy that will speak to a broad audience.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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Water: Traditional Knowledge

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Recognising the value of Traditional Knowledge is an ongoing project.  The United Nations University’s Institute of Advanced Studies Traditional Knowledge Project contributed to the 5th World Water Forum in 2009.  The proceedings published on their web site give a hint of the depth of this area.

There are various reports bringing traditional knowledge to bear on national and international water policy, including Northern Voices, Northern Waters from the North West Territories, the Anishinabek Report from Ontario and A Policy Statement on North Australian Indigenous Water Rights.

What is striking about all of these documents is that the meaning of water rights is deeply embedded in beliefs, cultural histories and traditional knowledge, but that the recommendations are framed in the modern management language of leadership, recommendations and executive summaries.  This ability to frame critical issues with respect and also with impact is a particular strength of the voice of indigenous peoples: Gavin Renwick relates that the Elders talk about the need to be “strong like two people” meaning to be strong in the western culture, and also strong in the traditional culture.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland