Climate until recently, climate change dialog has failed to

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies Incorporating Traditional
Ecological Knowledge

The
idea that human activity might effect the planet’s climate was first introduced
over a century ago, but it is only in the past sixty years that concerns about the
impact of global climate change on the planet’s environment have been vigorously
debated, first in the scientific community, then in public venues with the rise
of environmentalism in the 1970s. After decades of intense research on an
international scale, including studies of prehistoric climates, computer models
and quantitative data confirm that increased levels of carbon dioxide
contribute to increased temperatures on the planet. But, models differ, and opinions
vary on whether those temperatures fall into a manageable or catastrophic range
despite adverse effects of global warming already visible in some regions. Historically,
it has be recognized that natural resource-dependent indigenous populations
have been the most vulnerable to activities that negatively impact the
environment, and it has been acknowledged they inhabit some of the most
climatically vulnerable ecosystems on the planet, yet, until recently, climate
change dialog has failed to include the international indigenous voice,
compounding the dilemma associated with climate change. When the indigenous communities
were invited into the conversation, it became obvious their generations deep
knowledge of their ethno-botanical environments, also known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), could
contribute significantly to conservation policy regarding the ecosystem
management of their lands threatened with the impact of climate change.

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            The scale of human impact on the global
environment has been marked and measured in precise detail, with sometimes not
so precisely placed accountability. Temperatures are slowly increasing
globally.