Indigenous Data Sovereignty: Bringing Māori Knowledge to Climate Change Research (Seminar)

By Adrien Tofighi Niaki 

On 4 July, we had the opportunity in-person at the Espai Societat Oberta (Open Society Foundation in Barcelona) to learn first-hand how Indigenous traditions and knowledge can help us to understand the consequences climate and environmental change.

Maui Hudson, an interdisciplinary researcher and associate professor at the Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato (New Zealand), shared his work on the application of traditional knowledge of the Maori community in areas as wide-ranging as new technologies, health, the environment and innovation. He shared his work with the Local Contexts initiative, which helps ground Indigenous rights in community-based socio-environmental research and across research institutions.

Adrien Tofighi-Niaki from the Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts Observation Network (LICCI-ON) then shared how LICCION has integrated Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDS) and governance principles into the Oblo platform, followed by other case studies of IDS in community-based environmental monitoring projects around the world.

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Understanding Adaptation to Climate Change: The Role of Drivers, Facilitators and Barriers in Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

On June 27th Anna Schlingmann held an oral presentation in the annual conference of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources.

Climate change and hazards such as droughts, pests and floods affect the livelihood and food security of Indigenous Peoples and local communities globally. Small-scale farmers, fishers, pastoralists and hunting/gathering communities use their Indigenous and local knowledge to respond to arising challenges. However, adapting to climate change impacts is not a straightforward process; it is additionally steered by non-climatic influences such as economic and sociocultural factors.

For our analysis on adaptation determinants, we distinguish between adaptation drivers, adaptive capacity (strong barriers and facilitators) and willingness (soft barriers and facilitators). For our global quantitative analysis, we analyze 1) secondary data from a systematic literature review (n=209 peer-reviewed articles), and 2) primary data from 27 field sites, comprising more than 2700 individual and household surveys.

Based on the sustainable livelihoods approach, we assess the importance of social, human, financial, physical, and natural assets for the adaptive behavior of households. Additionally, we analyze the self-perception of community members on adaptation determinants. An improved understanding of local adaptation determinants is crucial for the successful implementation of bottom-up strategies.

Ecofeminism, Climate Change, and Commons

On May 18, the scientific coordinator of the LICCI project, Laura Calvet-Mir, took part in the debate on Ecofeminism, Climate Change, and Commos within the Climate Justice Conference organized by the University of Girona.

The session began with a theoretical introduction to the concepts. It then went to specific cases, where five women researchers discussed how to integrate decolonial, post-capitalist, and care visions into climate change research. Specifically, with the results of three case studies carried out in Spain on climate change and commons, Calvet-Mir concluded that the commons are a crucial strategy to ensure the resilience of socio-ecological systems to climate change. These, from a political ecology perspective, can promote an alternative organization of production, exchange, and labor beyond capitalism, taking into account the power relations of different social actors and the institutional environments that foster these power relations. Finally, the commons recognize the social and ecological interdependencies and emphasize the need for a post-capitalist economy that incorporates the reproductive economy and care in line with ecofeminism.