Including indigenous peoples in climate change mitigation: addressing issues of scale, knowledge and power

Abstract

Involving indigenous peoples in the development of mitigation measures for climate change presents procedural, conceptual and structural challenges. Here, we reflect on some of these challenges and ways of overcoming them, as suggested by collaborative approaches to policy and decision making. We specifically focus on issues of scale, knowledge and power, and how they interrelate to act as a barrier or opportunity for the involvement of indigenous groups. We argue that multi-scalar negotiations, blended knowledge and power-sharing structures are all necessary to include indigenous communities as valuable partners in climate change mitigation, and we suggest strategies and recommendations for actively accomplishing this inclusion. Examples from recent literature about the inclusion of indigenous communities in different sectors, are used to illustrate and provide evidence of the current problematic and the need for collaborative solutions. Overall, the ideas expressed here, serve as a conceptual framework to better understand and support the inclusion of indigenous communities in policy and decision making processes.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are indebted for the constructive comments and suggestions received by four anonymous referees throughout the review process of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to M. Brugnach.

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This article is part of a Special Issue on “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation with Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples” edited by Kirsty Galloway McLean, Ameyali Ramos Castillo, Edwin Castellanos, and Aqqaluk Lynge.

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Brugnach, M., Craps, M. & Dewulf, A. Including indigenous peoples in climate change mitigation: addressing issues of scale, knowledge and power. Climatic Change 140, 19–32 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1280-3

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Keywords

  • Indigenous People
  • Clean Development Mechanism
  • Indigenous Community
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Climate Mitigation