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Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: Situating Culture, Identity, and Place in Climate Change Risk Mitigation and Resilience

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Handbook of Climate Change Management

Abstract

Global advocacy for culturally diverse and socially inclusive approaches to climate change risk mitigation and adaption is developing. The 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a prime exemplar, promotes policy recognition of Indigenous environmental management knowledges and practices. Yet, inclusion of Indigenous climate change management techniques in policy frameworks has primarily been informed by the “etic” gaze of Western European science, and comprehensive implementation strategies remain lacking. Socio-ecological systems theories are being drawn on to frame interpretations of Indigenous identity concepts, space places, and practices. Yet how cultural contexts and linkages between Indigenous culture, identity, and place may be used to enhance climate change resilience are rarely considered, which has resulted in misunderstanding and misapplication of Indigenous knowledges pertaining to climate change mitigation. This chapter addresses current policy and research literature gaps by presenting and situating “emic” perspectives and aspirations regarding Indigenous approaches to climate change adaptation. International exemplars of Indigenous initiatives are used to illustrate the effectiveness of culture-based approaches to climate change risk mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. The ways in which cultural attributes shape Indigenous responses to climate change and are mobilized to mitigate risks to community resilience are discussed. The role of Indigenous eco-genealogical linkages as a foundation for effective climate change adaptation is considered, and policy conceptualizations of Indigenous culture, identity, and sense of place that marginalize traditional knowledges are challenged.

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Kenney, C., Phibbs, S. (2021). Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: Situating Culture, Identity, and Place in Climate Change Risk Mitigation and Resilience. In: Luetz, J.M., Ayal, D. (eds) Handbook of Climate Change Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-57281-5_113

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