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Sharing Knowledge

Workshop on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for Arctic Indigenous Communities, September 20–21, 2008, Copenhagen, Denmark

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Third Assessment Report identified Indigenous peoples as being among the groups most threatened by climate change. Principal factors leading to this vulnerability relate to Indigenous peoples' exposure to climate hazards and their high reliance on natural resources and ecosystems to sustain traditional livelihoods and cultural practices. Due to existing social and economic stresses on many communities, their capacity to cope with climate hazards is further reduced. Arctic Indigenous communities have to respond to major economic and cultural impacts. Their experience is an invaluable resource from which culturally appropriate adaptation strategies can be formulated. However, among the non-Indigenous scientific community there is little knowledge of the nature of Indigenous peoples specific vulnerability to climate impacts, or their past adaptation strategies. The importance of the interconnectedness between human health, culture and country for many Indigenous people must be understood by the non-Indigenous community for future work to be successful.

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