Indigenous and Traditional Peoples the world over are being impacted by human pressures including climate change. Scientists, governments and experts are trying to find new ways to manage our resources to live within our planetary boundaries, however Indigenous and Traditional People have been doing this for millennia. With the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, colonising forces are needing to consider how development decisions impact on these community groups and what past developments have taken away.
Indigenous and Traditional People can provide resolutions and alternate management techniques for addressing climate change and development issues. For instance, multiple groups have ancestors who have survived through previous climate change periods, and their adaptations can be learnt from. This paper addresses some of the issues that Indigenous and Traditional People face in this era of rapid change, and how their Traditional Knowledge and alternative knowledge systems can provide positive solutions towards solving problems not only for their own communities but also for the wider global community.
With 6% of the world’s Indigenous and Traditional Peoples overseeing 40% of the world’s biodiversity, there is a lot of responsibility placed on marginalised communities to sacrifice their place in the economy for the benefit of those who do not recognise their services. Today’s dire situation provides opportunity for Indigenous and Traditional Peoples to lead in development of a new marine conservation economy and for their voices to be heard within the international community, a voice that is often hushed or ignored.