COP25 side event: “Incorporating Indigenous and Local Knowledge into Climate Change Adaptation policies and practices in ACP regions”

Incorporating Indigenous and Local Knowledge into Climate Change Adaptation policies and practices in ACP regions


A side event of the ACP Secretariat and EUROCLIMA


The Secretariat of the ACP Group of State in collaboration with EUROCLIMA organised this side event, which took place on Thursday 5 December 2019, from 10:00 to 11:30, at the Euroclima Pavilion, in Madrid, Spain.


Representatives from ACP governments, academic institutions, indigenous organisations, and international partners shared their experiences, challenges, and opportunities that the incorporation of traditional/local knowledge into climate change adaptation policy, entails in each of their countries/regions. Special focus was given to women-led climate solutions.



The main objectives of the side-event were to:

  • Showcase a selection of traditional/local climate change solutions from across ACP countries with a special focus on women-led solutions.
  • Engage in technical debates on challenges and best practices to successfully incorporating traditional/local knowledge and solutions into national climate change adaptation policy and practice, especially NAPs and NDCs. And
  • Identify gaps, needs and possible areas of support needed by ACP countries to incorporate traditional/local knowledge, in particular, women-led solutions, into NAPs and NDCs.



  • Indigenous people observe nature, live in harmony with it;
  • Both science and local knowledge are equally important;
    Indigenous people innovate with observed changes in natures – thus able to adapt, they have a lot of knowledge to offer to policy. But we are losing many local/indigenous languages and with it, the knowledge on the environment and nature that cannot be translated into other languages;
  • Information to local communities is often not useful or inaccessible. A lot of information comes from foreign donors and the priorities and objectives are not aligned to local needs and objectives;
  • There is the need to have community-locally driven information, then integrate it with modern information to enrich the latter;
  • Each system of knowledge is very locality specific and gender-specific, incorporating other factors such as culture;
  • One major achievement of SBSTA in 2018 was the establishment of the Local and Indigenous People’s Platform – composed of indigenous people selected through their own processes and government officials;
  • Belize: carried out the first mitigation project in the world working with indigenous people as guardians of the forests (they used an earlier model whereby indigenous people were in charge of ensuring sustainable use of rubber trees producing rubber for export for making chewing gum);
  • Guyana: Lands and Survey Division transferring land rights to indigenous people;
  • South Africa: work with local communities focusing on empowering women and girls;
  • Language and its restrictions are important when dealing with local/Indigenous knowledge as some terms in modern languages (e.g. tree) do not exist in some of the former;
  • Meteorologists need to be trained on society not only on weather data so they can pick-up on the knowledge on weather and society adaptation practices put in place by local and indigenous societies;
  • Research in local/indigenous settings requires safety and patience. Safety so each one can feel free to speak and be heard among others and patience as it takes tact to understand the intricate relationships and other nuances in a local society setting;
  • At COP there is now a Work Plan of the Platform – all Parties can collaborate to contribute to it as it is evolving;
  • There is the need to work on regional and national platforms of a similar nature in the ACP;
  • The ACP Secretariat needs to get involved as a hub/facilitator for the above;
  • ACP Countries should step up and ensure that local and indigenous people and issues of concern are integrated into their policies with partners; and
  • There is a need for more people from the South/ACP in the work on local and indigenous people at COPs.


Evento: Incorporación de los conocimientos locales en las políticas y prácticas de adaptación al cambio climática en las regiones ACP. Pabellón #EUROCLIMAplus #COP25

Geplaatst door EUROCLIMA+ op Donderdag 5 december 2019


Concept note_Side Event_ACP_EUROCLIMA 5/12/2019_En

Note conceptuelle_Side Event_ACP_EUROCLIMA 5/12/2019_Fr.


Madrid Climate Change Conference
COP 25/ CMP 15/ CMA 2

Madrid, Spain
2–13 December 2019