Maria Onyango: Policy Issues in Integrating Indigenous Knowledge in climate risk management to support community based adaptation
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Maria Onyango: Policy Issues in Integrating Indigenous Knowledge in climate risk management to support community based adaptation






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Maria Onyango: Policy Issues in Integrating Indigenous Knowledge in climate risk management to support community based adaptation Maria Onyango: Policy Issues in Integrating Indigenous Knowledge in climate risk management to support community based adaptation Presentation Transcript

  • Policy Issues in Integrating Community-based Indigenous Knowledge in Climate Risk Management and Adaptations by Onyango Maria (PhD) Bondo University College, Kenya at Climate change Symposium Addis Ababa 03/18/11
  • Introduction
    • IK may be defined as an ancient, communal, holistic and spiritual knowledge that encompasses every aspect of human existence (Brascoupé and Mann, 2001).
    • Community based adaptation to climate change relies heavily on IK
    • Local communities depend on accumulated IK gained from generation to generation which they use to:-
        • Interpret weather Patterns
        • Predict local natural disasters; and their recurrence
        • Base early warning through keen observations of nature changes to cope with extreme impacts
    • Modern climate forecasts are readily available but many locals among the East African communities still rely on indigenous climate forecasts to guide their climate risk management and adaptation activities.
    • Nganyi community is renowned for their special talents for predicting climatic changes and providing reliable early-warning for rainfall-patterns “Rain-making”
    • Over the years, Nganyi community of Western Kenya has provided credible climatic early warning information to neighboring communities using IK based predictions to forecast the impending changing weather conditions
    Motivation for the Nganyi community project 03/18/11
  • Project Objectives
    • Specific objectives
    • Demystify Nganyi community IK and develop sustainable framework for integrating IK and western climate risk science and their applications in coping with extreme climate variability and adapting to climate change.
    • Disaggregate the community by age, gender, and socio-cultural status of access, control and management of natural resources including climate risk management knowledge as a baseline for establishing gender power relations in the community and in climate risk management.
    • Develop and improve the packaging and communication of IK integrated seasonal climate forecasts.
    • Investigate the potential impacts of future climate changes on the IK systems; sustainability of applications of IK integrated climate risk management tools;
    • Develop curriculum that can be used to Integrate IK and western science disaster risk reduction for capacity enhancement at the community and other educational levels.
  • The Project Partners
    • A fully participatory approach was designed to integrate Nganyi IK prediction systems into modern scientific forecasts through a pilot project.
    • The project was coordinated at IGAD Regional Center for Climate Prediction (ICPAC).
    • The partners included the Government of Kenya, Nganyi community, Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), GLUK, IDRC and researchers from public universities in Kenya.
    • The IK predictions are based on extremely scientific proxies which include keen observations of changes on
      • Flora
      • Fauna
      • Solar systems and Stars
    • The IK techniques are dynamic and require no laboratory however, they are comparable with those of modern scientists.
  • Project relevance and satisfaction
    • Ownership and partners’ commitment was attained in participatory outcome mapping workshop at the start.
    • The project design was consistent with the common vision of the funders and goal of enhancing the community resilience, through participatory action research activities.
    • Harmonization of the needs of Nganyi community and the other stakeholders ensured project ownership by all in planning and implementation .
    • Complementary competencies of project team efficiently addressed the skills and information gaps through capacity building activities.
    • Enterprise training addressed the socio-economic needs of the women and the youth who were found to be culturally vulnerable within the Nganyi community.
    • KIPI’s role in the project assured the Nganyi community of full protection of their secrets and encouraged them to share without fear of compromising their intellectual property rights
    • Climate scientists and researchers also shared freely their knowledge with the community to establish trust in all the parties.
    March 18, 2011
  • IK and Modern Science compared Factor Modern Science Indigenous Knowledge How approached Compartmental Holistic How communicated Written Oral How taught Lectures, theories Observations, experience How explained Theory, “value free” Spiritual, social values
  • Observations Laboratories FORECAST
  • One uses scientific equipment; the other depends on natural flora and fauna
  • Project Achievements
    • Coordination role played by ICPAC was key in demystification of myths associated with IK rainfall prediction and local communities.
    • Documentation of methodology facilitates opportunity to replicate similar projects elsewhere in other countries of Africa.
    • Dissemination of quarterly consensus forecast has created working bond between KMD and Nganyi community and has resulted in construction of Nganyi community resource centre to be fitted with automatic MET Station
    • The Nganyi community project value to DRR and CCA has been demonstrated through the massive interest which it has attracted locally and from international communities
    • Sustainability of the project was built into the selection of strategic partners whose core functions are generating and disseminating climate forecast information to end users
    • The project built the capacity of youths from the community to pursue diploma and post graduate course as part of sustainability
    • Women capacitated to alternative income earning and saving
    • Youth apathy reduced through capacity building in forestation and nursery technologies for income earning.
  • Capacity building turned into Igas and environmental conservation activities
  • Benefits Cont…
    • Early warning information was disseminated in a language understandable by end user has better rewarding adaptation as was shown in transformation of the vulnerable men, women and youth.
    • Participatory dissemination ensured adaptive livelihood activities from respective government sectors
    • There is a win-win situation of capacity enhancement for both climate scientists and the indigenous communities which motivates collaborative learning
    • Nganyi community image has improved and they appreciated as source of rainfall control knowledge
  • Climate Scientist share with IK predictors at their observatories
  • Lessons Learned
    • There is value in applying integrated and participatory approaches complemented with IK in capacity building for enhancing community resilience and influencing gainful CCA and DRR.
    • Although Nganyi predictions and the scientific predictions use different predicting techniques, they concur that environmental conservation enhance rainfall and community adaptive capacity and resilience.
    • Using special skill groups within community structures as entry point is challenging in that it breeds mistrust and competition which could mar project outcome
    • Gender complementarity is essential in addressing vulnerability enhances resilience as CCA and DRR affect all.
    • Both men and women have distinct roles to play in IK prediction but there is bias against women in key roles.
    • .
    • It is not clear if communities are fully aware of disaster risks and climate change impacts;
    • Could capacity building go beyond economic needs to safety and security measures?
    • Are the lead- institutions of learning in this region making themselves visible enough in addressing community vulnerability to CC and RR through collaboration with climate scientist and local communities.
    • CCA and DRR have no tribe or clan boundaries and should be treated collaborative research should encourage documentation and information sharing
    • More capacity building and policy lobbying still required to underscore CCA and DRR as developmental issues in their own rights to be allocated budgets lines
  • Policy gaps identified
    • Millennium Development Goals emphasize equal opportunities for all in all aspects of life however, efforts to broker between climate change and sustainability requires a policy framework which comes out with clear guidelines that reinforce participatory capacity building especially for local communities.
    • While rights-based development is promoting gender inclusive development. There is need that policy statement goes beyond formulation to supporting strategic implementation in order to optimize the labour potential of the culturally vulnerable by enhancing access and control to essential resources. There is necessity to apply cost-benefit analysis in terms of economic gains/losses as a result of disparities.
    • Documentation of IK within any local community requires that value expectation by the community is well understood and policy protected, regional organizations interested in documenting IK should bear this in mind
    • There is need for policy take-up to support capacity of modern scientist and the IK communities for symbiotic understanding.
  • Conclusions
    • Scientific prediction is a reality and readily accepted because it is based on meteorological modeling; IK prediction is also readily accepted by the local communities because it is based on systematic observation of nature.
    • The two approaches are very scientific in their own rights therefore integrated predictions between these two groups can buy in ownership by both.
    • There is need for consistent Documentation of IK, time-series analysis to conserve knowledge for future generations.
    • Increased awareness and usage of the integrated products for community climate risk reduction, researchers should play a lead role
    • Increasing knowledge base on the integration of IK and western disaster risk reduction strategies still require more data collection for validated sharing.
  • Recommendations
    • Weather and climate change impacts are here with us and have no intention of leaving soon; indigenous communities co-existed with these two vagaries better integration with them is worthwhile
    • Modern scientists should expand their search into lessons that can be drawn from what worked then and modify these for greater acceptance of current generations.
    • The negative impacts of weather and climate variability are psychosocial problems which compel us as scientists and researchers to communicate with IK custodians
    • The challenge is for us to break the barriers and make the local community predictors feel that they are opinion leaders and their kind of information combined with the scientifically validated approaches will surely enhance early warning and mitigation efforts
    • Permit me to Acknowledge
      • IDRC/DFID for funding this study
      • ICPAC for convening and coordinating the Action Research
      • KMD for establishing lasting collaboration through construction of a Resource Centre
      • Fellow researchers from Public Universities in Kenya and
      • Nganyi community