Adaptation and Indigenous peoples in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

IHACC Research Team, James Ford*, Michelle Maillet, Vincent Pouliot, Thomas Meredith, Alicia Cavanaugh, Shuaib Lwasa, Alejandro Llanos, Lea Berrang-Ford, César Carcamo, Didacus B. Namanya, Sherilee Harper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Indigenous peoples are uniquely sensitive to climate change impacts yet have been overlooked in climate policy, including within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We identify and characterize the discourse around adaptation in the UNFCCC, examining implications for Indigenous peoples based on a critical discourse analysis of the original Convention and decision texts from subsequent Conference of the Parties (CP). CP16 in Cancun (2010) was a critical juncture after which adaptation emerged as a central component of climate policy in the Convention, with a shift from a purely scientific approach to adaptation to one where local, Indigenous, and traditional knowledge are also valued. Since CP16, the discursive space for incorporating the voices, needs, and priorities of Indigenous peoples around adaptation has expanded, reflected in decision texts and engagement with Indigenous issues in the work streams of relevant bodies. We outline opportunities for greater engagement of Indigenous issues in the UNFCCC post-Paris Agreement, noting the underlying State-centric nature of the Convention limits what can ultimately be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-443
Number of pages15
JournalClimatic Change
Volume139
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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