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Climate Change, Water and Indigenous People. PART I: WATER IS LIFE.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change, Water and Indigenous People. PART I: WATER IS LIFE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change, Water and Indigenous People

2 PART I: WATER IS LIFE

3 Water is life YOU are 60% water and can only live a few days without drinking water

4 Indigenous Perspectives on Water Indigenous cultures “recognize, honor and respect water as sacred and sustains all life” Water is worthy of reverence and great respect Water is the blood of mother earth, the giver of life

5 Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace Water is a living beingwe proclaim the responsibility to honor and respect water as a sacred being that sustains all of life. Humans and all living things have the right to water, but water also has rights.

6 Water & Climate Change Climate plays a major role in water management. It directly impacts the quantity of water available and can affect water delivery and changes in how much, where, and in water form future precipitation falls can have a powerful impact on our water supplies. Therefore, the potential shortages due to climate change need to be considered in water policy.

7 Cycles of wet and dry periods are normal, however, When the hydrological cycle is out of balance (or intensified due to climate change), these can lead to more extreme flooding and drought cycles

8 Native Nations in SW are major land managers 6 million acres of land held in trust by the US for American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives Reservations and tribal lands are >27% of land in AZ Confronting same climate trends, need same info, but context is different – cultural ties to landscape – federal trust relationship – widely variable capacity Native Nations in SW are major land managers Research in Indian Country, AZ Ext. bulletin, 10/08

9 Acquifer Map of the U.S.

10 Precipitation Predictions: U.S

11 Cowin, CDWR, 2008 Summary of Impacts to Western Watersheds

12 Water in the Southwest Factors affecting the Colorado River Basin Longer, more severe drought More winter precipitation falling as rain Shorter snow accumulation at a given elevation Earlier snowpack melting Greater run-off with flood peaks in winter Increased severity of summer storms Reduced river flows and lower reservoir levels

13 Climate Change Policy Adapting to climate change will entail policy that reflects the predicted Also, incorporates the indigenous perspective

14 Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace We are in concert with the need to give voice to the Indigenous perspective of guardianship of all sources of water. We as Indigenous Peoples understand this as our sacred duty to protect our relationship to all the elements that comprise life.

15 What is Traditional Knowledge, or Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)? The indigenous people of the world possess an immense knowledge of their environments, based on centuries of living close to nature. Living in and from the richness and variety of complex ecosystems, they have an understanding of the properties of plants and animals, the functioning of ecosystems and the techniques for using and managing them that is particular and often detailed. In rural communities in developing countries, locally occurring species are relied on for many - sometimes all - foods, medicines, fuel, building materials and other products. Equally, peopleís knowledge and perceptions of the environment, and their relationships with it, are often important elements of cultural identity. United Nations Educational, Scienitific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 1994

16 TK, TEK Develops out of Indigenous peoples’ connections to land—homelands. Lifeways and practices. Decades, centuries of observation, understanding, and relationships between Indigenous peoples and the natural world—air, earth, fire, water, plants, animals.

17 Deloria on Traditional vs. Western Science “The main difference between Indigenous knowledge and Western science is that for Indians, the knowledge is personal, and with it comes a responsibility.” Red Earth, White Lies (1995)

18 Motivations for this Research Legitimizing Traditional Knowledge Encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue – Across science, policy, student and elder circles

19 The Broad Concerns Equal and equitable input from for communities – Elders, scientists, policy analysts, and students Recognize each groups’ contribution Recognize each groups’ equity since they are not the same Focus on a common theme – water – Water gives life – Water can take life away

20 A space for collaboration – Elder input, policy input, science input (management and research) – What are the consequences of current water policy and management – What strategies may be employed to mitigate negative consequences of current water policy and management? Hence, what part of the current water policy and management needs to be changed? – Student activities founded upon these broad ideas For science, policy, philosophy majors and minors, and environmental management majors, AIS majors

21 The problem... Changing current water policy and management: – Who are the key actors? – How much salience do these actors have – What is the best strategy for impacting water policy language? – Can we forecast activity that will do damage to our water policy preferences?

22 Our Model


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