Community Conversations on Climate Change
“Although they contribute very little to the underlying causes of climate change, indigenous peoples are helping enhance the resilience of ecosystems they inhabit and are interpreting and reacting to the impacts of climate change in creative ways, drawing on traditional knowledge and other technologies to find solutions which may help society at large to cope with impending changes.” United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Press Release, 16th April 2008
LifeMosaic, working closely with 30 communities and 20 indigenous peoples organisations in South East Asia and Latin America, has produced a unique set of climate change literacy films, known collectively as 'Fever'.
LifeMosaic's 'Community Conversations on Climate Change' project is based on the following rationale:
- Indigenous peoples in the humid tropics are often impoverished and marginalised and will be among the most affected by climate change and by large-scale mitigation projects;
- Their territories are targeted by extractive industries that contribute to emissions, and information about climate change is central to their decision-making when faced with these developments;
- Their continued stewardship of their territories, and their dynamic traditional knowledge are essential to cultural and biological resilience in times of rapid change;
- Yet indigenous peoples are frequently marginalised from the global conversation on climate change. They have limited access to information about the changes they are experiencing and how these relate to the industrial growth society.
The project was developed after consultations with over 120 indigenous leaders, community members and support groups from around the humid tropics, who agreed that climate literacy films for communities were powerful tools, urgently needed and in high demand. The films equip indigenous communities across the humid tropics with information they need to prepare for climate change impacts, through self determined actions involving both adaptation and mitigation.
The films have now been finalised and are receiving positive feedback from members of communities and from facilitators who work on community empowerment. Demand for the films is very high. Our priority over the next 3 years is to ensure that the films are distributed to thousands of indigenous communities around the tropics, in ways which support these communities to plan, adapt and take action.
Dissemination will focus on areas where large-scale extractive and agro-industrial developments are planned, as well as areas where forest carbon projects for climate change mitigation are taking place. These are areas where LifeMosaic and our partners believe the films will have the most impact - providing relevant information to communities who are confronted with immediate decisions about land-use change on their territories.
The films are designed to empower indigenous communities in the tropics, helping to deepen their understanding about systemic issues surrounding climate change; providing communities with information to support their defence of their rights and their forests; and helping them to plan self-determined strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation. The films are also designed as resources for local facilitators, helping to strengthen the capacity of networks and organisations in their awareness-raising and advocacy work on climate change.
The films particularly aim to raise critical awareness between local knowledge of changing weather patterns and existing strategies for community resilience on the one hand; and global awareness of the climate crisis and its roots in the industrial growth society on the other.
Where these two sets of information connect, powerful transformations can occur, resulting in communities taking additional concrete steps to protect their territories, cultures and forests; and to strengthen their resilience to climate change through self-determined actions for mitigation and adaptation. We believe that targeted, facilitated, and widespread distribution of 'Fever – A Video Guide' will support these outcomes.
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Please contact us with your suggestions of other examples which could be added to this resource.
Fever - A Video Guide
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