Essay Example: Wilderness, Climate Change, and Traditional Knowledge

Published: 2023-03-03
Essay Example: Wilderness, Climate Change, and Traditional Knowledge
Type of paper:  Literature review
Categories:  Ecology Population Literature review Climate change
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1803 words
16 min read

Canada has been the most relatable nation in the context of climate change and how their indigenous populations contribute to knowledge. The indigenous populations in this context are a vital factor in the understanding of climate change and its extent because it is through them that we get to see how resilient and adaptive they can be in such extremes of climate change. Indigenous people warrant the understanding of climate change because they particularly attract certain attention. Since they are in the oceanic shores of the Arctic, the effects and impacts on their territories and their communities are likely expected to come early and with a greater impact. This is mostly so as they are located in the most vulnerable locations like in small islands, and the circumpolar Arctic. Indeed, change in climate is a real threat to various societies and communities who live near the oceans and the sea. For one to, therefore, better understand the concept of climate change in Canada, such knowledge can only be best understood by looking at various kinds of literature that relate to the indigenous communities. The essay will thus present literature on how the indigenous communities of Canada contribute to the understanding of climate change and wilderness. An in-depth analysis of the literature will be presented with a view of the communities and how they help bring to knowledge the concept of climate change and its effects.

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Nakashima, McLean, Thulstrup, Castillo, & Rubis (2013) details that many indigenous communities and societies are most distinct in mainstream societies; this means that the policies and the decisions decided by the majority, especially on matters of climate change, maybe inappropriate and not adequate. It is thus necessary that we all understand the various concerns vulnerabilities and the long-term expectations of the actions, especially to the communities. Indigenous communities are the main source of understanding of the traditional knowledge relating to the broader view of climate change.

According to, Nakashima, McLean, Thulstrup, Castillo, & Rubis,(2013) the knowledge of indigenous communities was passed the intergovernmental panel relating to climate change (IPCC) in their fourth assessment report as a resourceful basis to the development and understanding of the natural management of resources and strategies that are in response to the change in environment. The recognition was again reaffirmed during the IPCC's 32nd edition, where the consideration of indigenous and traditional knowledge was added as a principle for guidance in matters of climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCC) also saw the reaffirming of the application of traditional and indigenous knowledge in climate change.

Climate Change Policy and Canada's Inuit Population

For the Inuit population in Canada, change in climate is a topic that requires mitigation and adaptation that helps reduce the negative effects of the current and future change in climate among the Inuit population, grab the new opportunities that present themselves, and integrate the existing decisions made and the policy goals set. Adaptation is the emerging issue that the international and Canadian action on change in climate can be used to help the Inuit adapt to the various changes in climate that seem to be inevitable.

Ford, Pearce, Duerden, Furgal, & Smit (2009) utilized information collected from international institutions such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. These are highly regarded institutions that partake in climate change, and they will be the basis for the understanding of how indigenous knowledge help in the understanding of climatic change in Canada.

Relating the situations and effects of climate change on the indigenous Inuit population of Canada helps in ways such as supporting the education and transmission of the various environmental land skills and knowledge, enhancement of the capability of emergency management, ensuring that there is flexibility in the management of resource regimes and the economic support for the facilitation of adaptation for the groups with limited income, and increasing research for identifying long and short term risk factors.

Mitigation and Adaption

The Inuit have been susceptible to changes in climatic conditions as documented over the last two decades because of their dependence on sensitive resources for their livelihoods. Compromised food security, an increase in the danger of engaging in traditional practices, and increased sea levels, as noted across Canada, have been the significant factors that threaten the settlement viability of the Inuit population. The changes are dangerous because some parts of the Canadian Arctic have recorded a two degrees increase in temperature; this change is highly associated with interference with climatic systems.

According to Ford, Pearce, Duerden, Furgal, & Smit, (2009), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) outlined two areas that required climate policy, adaptation, and mitigation; these are essential areas to policies relating to climate in Canada's Inuit regions. First, FCCC and the principle update of the Kyoto Protocol legally obligated the parties to achieve in relation to the provisions of the convention, to stabilize the greenhouse gas concentration at a level that would reduce dangerous anthropogenic from interfering with the climatic system. Secondly, adaptations that seek to develop measures to moderate the negative effects of climate change and look at new opportunities is an essential aspects of the Framework Convention. The Canadian government has put up measures to support adaptations, especially in the Arctic regions.

Adaptation to Policy

To identify and inform on the policy development in the reduction of dangers of climatic change, it is important to characterize vulnerability. The vulnerability relates to the climatic risks ranging from individuals to a nation's state. The vulnerability relates to both sensitivity and exposure to the various climatic risks and the capacity to adapt to the risks. Ford, Pearce, Duerden, Furgal, & Smit, (2009) details that the recognition of the roles of sensitivity and adaptive capacity in vulnerability helps in putting emphasis on factors such as access to resources, institutional networks, gender, and ethnicity in line with climatic stress that builds up in the community. In the field of climatic change in general, understanding how vulnerability affects the populations and how they try to adapt to the changes greatly helps in the development of research and policies on climate change. The Inuit population in Canada is a perfect reference in this regard as the study on the struggles they go through due to changes in climate, and their adaptive measures have been a great source in understanding how traditional and indigenous knowledge is of the essence in climatic change.

Community-Based Monitoring and Indigenous Knowledge in the Changing Arctic

Johnson, Behe, Danielsen, Krummel, Nickels,& Pulsifer, (2016) review is majorly based on an initiative referred to as the "Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks" (SAON). The review examines the monitoring of the communities around the Arctic by observing indigenous knowledge. SAON gathers research on the Arctic and the monitoring communities and presents data that is relatable to the situation in the Arctic. Community-based Monitoring (CBM) as an approach to understanding climate change through indigenous knowledge presents a number of opportunities to researchers, government agencies, and other interested parties.

CBM increases the extent to which communities can document and give responses to the various changes in climatic change. Researchers apply the indigenous knowledge of the communities to help support the development of new links and relationships that can be used to generate information and decision-makers in relation to climatic change. CBM is a resourceful aspect of information that builds upon the capacity of stewardship and management of resources that is based on indigenous knowledge. Community-based monitoring practice in the Arctic by the application of indigenous knowledge brings out clearly how the concept and knowledge of indigenous communities help in the better understanding of climatic change in Canada as it presents researchers and similar institutions on how to find ways to address the issue of climate change not only in Canada but across the globe.

Canada's Top Climate Change Risks

The Council of Canadian Academies (2019) review is by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) addressing the various climatic risk factors that Canada has been facing and the measures through which such risk could be mitigated, especially among the indigenous populations. The report is of the essence in understanding how the indigenous populations help in the understanding of climate change as it presents the threats they are exposed to and the means through which they have been able to survive all through.

According to The Council of Canadian Academies (2019), Canada has many coastal communities living on the coastline and who are at the forefront in getting affected by the rise in sea waters. The various risks such as flooding which are through the communities' interaction with the weather patterns such as storms and the reduced protection from sea ice. The coastal communities have embraced the risks of climate change by adapting to the risks and threats. The adaptation options can vary over a wide scale. The feasibility of the various effects depends on the extent and scale of effects such as the geographical size and the number of people. Other factors such as the time needed, the willingness and capacity to the risks, and the extent of cooperation as some of the factors that determine the extent to which adaptation to the risks can be mitigated. The review on the feasibility and the level of adaptation in addressing the risk of climatic change among the indigenous communities provide enough data that can be used for further research for a better understanding of climatic change.

Traditional Knowledge Related to Responses to Climate Change in the Arctic Region

In order for the ecosystem of the Arctic to continue producing adequate food and the nutrient cycle, for the critical species in the region, traditional and local knowledge have to be incorporated to give way forward to the dangers of climate change. The internal communities have put up measures and policies to address the issue of climate change in the Arctic. The local communities similarly have taken measures such as moving the fishing sites closer to the shores as a safety measure in the reduction of the ice blocks in the sea.

International Framework for Indigenous Communities

Green, & Raygorodetsky, (2010) details that the international communities and agencies in partnership with the local communities had set up various measures that will help in the advocacy of mitigation of the dangers of climate change. It is only through taking a look and understanding the indigenous views on climate change that one can truly find the right measures for climate change.

There was the establishment of pilot projects for the monitoring of indigenous communities based on the regionally and locally described criteria systems. There were dissemination and compilation of the best approaches to mitigate the impacts of change in climate to the biodiversity of the communities. Community-based systems that assess the impact of change in climate to biodiversity complimented the contributions of the local communities.

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