Document / Publication
This case study asserts that indigenous knowledge plays an important role in the way communities interact with their climate in many countries, particularly in Bolivia. It contributes to weather forecasting at the community level, and to the preservation of vital ecosystem functions that help to buffer communities against climate change impacts. However, the increasing incidence of extreme weather events and disasters is taking a toll. This situation calls for new partnerships between indigenous people and the scientific community – an area where Bolivia could lead the way.
Key messages highlighted: Climate change is expected to increase the incidence of droughts and floods in Bolivia; Whilst Bolivia's Law of Mother Earth promotes 'living well', it lacks a means for legal redress for developments that damage the environment and does not require consent for development projects among the indigenous; Collaborations between indigenous groups and scientists can improve the understanding of climate change, lead to better adaptive strategies; Implementing policies that encourage the use of indigenous knowledge will help manage the unavoidable consequences of climate change and protect vulnerable populations.