Parallel Session | Panel 3.1 | Working with Indigenous and Local Community People for Co-creation of Solutions to Sustainability Challenges

Session Organizer: JICA Ogata Research Institute.

Session Description: Background In the international policy arena, there is a growing recognition of the vital roles of indigenous and local knowledge in devising solutions to sustainability issues, such as biodiversity loss and climate change threats to ecosystems. This is because of a deep and rich understanding of the local ecosystem, which the indigenous and local community peoples have obtained through a long history of their interaction with the local environment, while limitations of conventional approaches to addressing sustainability issues have been recognized. However, challenges remain in practice at the local community level, when it comes to bringing local and indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge together for locally relevant and effective solutions to biodiversity loss and ecosystem disruption. Differences in the nature of these knowledge systems and the power imbalance between them obstruct fair and equal participation of local and indigenous peoples in dialogues and collaborations with scientific experts. Given the urgency and seriousness of the biological
and climatic challenges, dialogue and collaboration between these knowledge holders are arguably needed now. Then, how can these different knowledge holders work together for solutions to global challenges in practice, going beyond the dichotomies of and confrontations between science and non-science; universal and contextual; and ultimately, human and non-human?

This session will discuss the possible way to enable indigenous and local peoples and scientific experts to participate equally and fairly in the efforts for tackling biodiversity and climate challenges. Researchers and practitioners will share their thoughts and experiences of collaboration between indigenous and local people and scientific experts. In particular, it will try to answer the following questions through the panel and open discussions:

  • What mechanisms, such as policy and governance, can facilitate fair and equal
    participation of these knowledge holders?
  • What approach is possible to enhance the mutual learning between stakeholders,
    complementing gaps in respective knowledge systems and strengthen the capacity of
    stakeholders on the effective environmental management?
  • What is the role of research community on this theme?