Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Indigenous Cultures Address Climate Change

From First Stewards:

Climate change—the variation in the Earth’s climate over time—is a pressing issue for coastal indigenous cultures, other coastal communities, and coastal and ocean resource managers. Some of the most dramatic and economically important effects include heat waves and drought in some areas and changing ocean conditions that affect sea life that cultures depend on in others.

Because of their unique vulnerability, coastal indigenous cultures are leaders in societal adaptation and mitigation in response to climate change impacts. Exploring their experiences may hold great value and provide guidance as communities across the nation respond to our changing climate.

A symposium to inform the nation about the impacts of climate change on coastal indigenous tribes will take place at the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., July 17‐20, 2012.

The symposium will bring together as many as 300 coastal indigenous tribal elders, leaders, scientists, witnesses, and other scientists and policy leaders from around the nation to discuss traditional ecological knowledge and what it can teach us about past, present, and future adaptation to climate change. Five regional panels of tribal leaders and tribal and Western scientists will examine how native people and their cultures have adapted to climate change for hundreds to thousands of years, and what their future — and that of the nation — may hold as the impacts of climate change continue.

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