Launch announcement

A joint effort of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme, UNESCO and United Nations University

UNESCO and UNU are pleased to announce the

Weathering Uncertainty
Traditional Knowledge for Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation

In the run-up to Rio+20 and in the framework of the
UNESCO/ICSU Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development and its session on
‘Indigenous knowledge and science: from recognition to knowledge co-production’

When:        13 June 2012 from 17:30-18:00 [open to the public]
Where:      Pontifical Catholic, Rua Marquês São Vicente, 225, Gávea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

When considering climate change, indigenous peoples and marginalized populations warrant particular attention. Impacts on their territories and communities are anticipated to be both early and severe due to their location in vulnerable environments. There is therefore a need to understand the specific vulnerabilities, adaptation capacities and longer-term aspirations of indigenous peoples and marginalized communities the world over. Indigenous and traditional knowledge contribute to this broader understanding.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fourth Assessment Report recognized traditional knowledge as ‘an invaluable basis for developing adaptation and natural resource management strategies in response to environmental and other forms of change.’ Despite this recognition, indigenous knowledge has remained largely outside the scope of IPCC assessments.

In order to strengthen consideration of indigenous knowledge in IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (5AR), to be released in 2014, this publication draws the attention of Authors of the 5AR and climate policy makers to the rapidly growing scientific literature on the contributions of indigenous and traditional knowledge to understanding climate change vulnerability, resilience and adaptation.

A limited number of print copies will be distributed at the launch. After the launch, the publication will be available for downloading at

For information on the Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development, please go to:

For information on the publication and launch, please contact:

Ms Jennifer Rubis, j.rubis*at* (onsite in Rio de Janeiro and for English and French media queries)
Ms Ameyali Ramos Castillo, ramos*at* (Washington DC, USA and for English and Spanish-language media queries)
Ms Kirsty Galloway McLean, g_mclean*at* (Melbourne, Australia)

For more information on the intiative and partners, please see:

Indigenous Peoples, Marginalized Populations and Climate Change

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme

UNESCO - Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems and

United Nations University - Traditional Knowledge Initiative


Secretariat of the Convention on Biological DiversityUnited Nations Development Programme-Global Environmental Facility Small Grants ProgrammeUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganizationUnited Nations University