Humans can mitigate climate change or lessen its severity by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations through processes that move carbon out of the atmosphere or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Actions taken by individuals, communities, states, and countries all influence climate. Practices and policies followed in homes, schools, businesses, and governments can affect climate. Climate-related decisions made by one generation can provide opportunities as well as limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation. Steps toward reducing the impact of climate change may influence the present generation by providing other benefits such as improved public health infrastructure and sustainable built environments. Jump to: “Humans can mitigate climate change impacts”
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What You Need to Know About Principle 9: Humans can take actions to reduce climate change and its impacts
We can choose to minimize our impacts, build resilient communities, and protect the ecosystems that sustain us all. But it will require acknowledging the reality and the seriousness of human-caused climate change and addressing the important social, economic, and environmental issues climate change presents by implementing solutions based on the best available science. Read more…
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Understanding climate science and integrating that knowledge into human society is key
Climate information can be used to reduce the vulnerability of communities and ecosystems and to ensure they are more resilient. That’s why it important to improve our scientific understanding of the climate system and to get reliable information to policy makers.
Reducing human vulnerability to climate change depends not only on our ability to understand climate science, but also on our ability to integrate that knowledge into human society.
Decisions that involve Earth’s climate must be made with an understanding of the complex interconnections among the physical and biological parts of the environment and how the consequences of decisions will affect humans—socially, economically, and culturally.
Read a Fact Sheet on How The Nature Conservancy is working to protect Pacific Northwest Resilience
This fact sheet describes a report that identifies key areas for conservation based on stable land characteristics that increase diversity and resilience, and will not change in a changing climate.
Humans can mitigate climate change impacts
Humans may be able to mitigate climate change or lessen its severity by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations through processes that move carbon out of the atmosphere or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A combination of strategies is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more…
For a good summary of mitigation:
Can You Fix The Climate?
Renewable Energy Takes Root In Northwest Indian Country
PENDLETON, Ore. — You can spot one of the Eastern Oregon’s newest renewable energy projects from Interstate 84. It doesn’t look like other wind projects east of the Cascades.
A single wind turbine rises over the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
The turbine blades gain momentum as the wind picks up. The tribes’ executive director, Dave Tovey, said this cultural institute turned out to be the perfect spot for the first turbine erected in Northwest Indian Country. The place where the tribes broke ground for the cultural institute is notoriously windy.
“A lot of our elders would just shake their heads as say, ‘You guys know, the wind always blows up there.’ We always thought, like Indian tribes, and like we do with so many other things here, we turn a seeming disadvantage into an advantage, or even an opportunity,” Tovey said.
Many Northwest tribes have been exploring ways to get more of their electricity from renewable sources that don’t pollute, like coal-fired power plants do, or harm fish — a concern when it comes to hydroelectric dams.
David Mullon is the chief counsel for the National Congress of American Indians, based in Washington, D.C. He said renewable energy is one way tribes can protect natural resources.
“A major portion of the tribal population is located on the reservation homelands. Protecting and conserving the resources on those very small places is an important consideration,” Mullon said.
There are plenty of examples in Northwest Indian Country: Idaho’s Nez Perce Tribe and Washington’s Yakama Nation are looking into generating electricity by burning woody debris in biomass plants. The Colville Tribes in Eastern Washington get energy from biomass and solar panels, too.
In Oregon, the turbine at the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute will generate about 25 percent of the building’s electricity.
Jess Nowland helps manage the building, which serves as a gathering place and museum for the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla tribes.
Before putting up the wind turbine, the tribes were working on conservation at the center. Nowland said they’ve reduced its energy consumption by about 70 percent, saving more than $700,000.
“The reality is that there are buildings everywhere that you can achieve this kind of savings on,” Nowland said.
This wind turbine is the beginning of renewable energy on the Umatilla reservation.
How Northwest Tribes Joined Forces to Beat Fossil Fuel Initiatives
Their victories have been inspiring to members of the Standing Rock Sioux in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Terri Hansen posted Nov 29, 2016
The Quinault Indian Nation encompasses 200,000 acres of magnificent, productive forests, swift-flowing rivers, gleaming lakes, and 23 miles of pristine Pacific coastline. The Quinault River flows from deep in the Olympic Mountains through a lush temperate rainforest to Lake Quinault before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. It’s a short hike from the Lake Quinault Lodge to visit some of the tallest hemlock, Douglas-fir, and Western red cedar trees, and the largest Sitka spruce tree in the world.
The Quinault own and manage Lake Quinault and the Quinault River from the lake to the Pacific Ocean, and co-manage the fisheries throughout their fishing areas—inland and at sea. But the tribe’s ancestral lands and resources are under threat by Houston-based Westway Terminals, which has applied for permits to expand its current crude oil shipping and storage facilities in Grays Harbor, Washington.
If approved, the expansion would add capacity to receive, store, and ship about 17.8 million barrels of oil annually by rail, and store an additional million barrels on site. It’s one of many proposed projects that would increase the transfer of raw fossil fuels to proposed ports on the Pacific coast, dubbed the “gateway to the Pacific,” for export to lucrative Asian markets.
In response, the Quinault have joined a growing coalition of other governments and allies to form a resistance to fossil fuel expansion along the West Coast, at the heart of which is hundreds of years of treaty rights and case law.
“We are a fishing, hunting, gathering people who care deeply about our land, water, and resources, as well as all life dependent on a healthy ecosystem,” said Fawn Sharp, the nation’s president. “These proposals threaten our economy, our environment, and our culture.”
Treaties, according to the U.S. Constitution, are the supreme law of the land, and do not expire. Many agreements between the federal government and tribal nations affirm a tribe’s right to hunt and fish on its ancestral land beyond current reservation boundaries. But projects like those proposed by Westway would degrade salmon and other cultural foods habitat, said Paul Lumley, executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, which represents four Columbia River Treaty fishing tribes. Oil spills and coal train derailments are just some of the environmental threats that could infringe the tribes’ treaty-protected rights to hunt and fish their lands.
These treaties have proven to be a potent legal mechanism in environmental protection in the Pacific Northwest, already racking up victories based on industry violations of generations-old government-to-government agreements.
In May, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for Gateway Pacific’s massive coal terminal, ruling that the project would impact the Lummi Nation’s fishery at Cherry Point, which is protected under the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. “This is a historic victory for treaty rights and the constitution,” said Lummi Chairman Tim Ballew II in a statement after the decision.
These treaties have proven to be a potent legal mechanism in environmental protection in the Pacific Northwest.
The Lummi had formed an alliance of nine tribal nations, each of which had at some point dealt with their own development issues. Thousands of activists and environmental groups such as the Sierra Club stood in solidarity with the Lummi and spoke out at public hearings, wrote letters, and submitted comments. The National Wildlife Federation and the Association of Northwest Steelheaders issued a report on the potential impacts of coal projects in the Pacific Northwest, stating: “The coal industry is rushing to build without studying the full consequences of their proposals.”
Full consideration of the consequences must include full consultation with tribes. Tribes in Washington have won court victories over fossil fuel projects because they were not properly consulted with during the permitting processes, said Indian law expert Gabe Galanda.
The outcome of those court decisions have been inspiring to Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II in his tribe’s stand against the Dakota Access pipeline. “We’ve seen the success our friends from Washington state have had in their battles to protect treaty rights against the transport of fossil fuels,” Archambault told Indian Country Today Media Network. “Their support is crucial.”
Yet there are still more fossil fuel proposals pending on the Columbia River and coastal Washington that tribes have to contend with, and resisting the big-money-backed pressure is an arduous task that diverts tribes’ attention away from other pressing matters.
“We know this country can’t break its addiction to oil overnight.”
“We have to stop all the productive work we’re doing … to address the crude oil transit through our territories,” Lumley said. For the Quinault, that work includes moving half of their flood-prone village out of the path of rising sea levels, and all of the tribes in western Washington have been grappling with this year’s disastrous salmon runs.
Sharp, who is also president of the 57 Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, said the best solution to the challenges created by what she called “the temperament of greed in this country” is the grassroots momentum that rises when the people—both tribal and nontribal—share a common vision and take action in their votes, voices, lifestyles, and the lessons they convey to their families.
“We know this country can’t break its addiction to oil overnight,” she said. “But we know that, over time, it has to be eliminated from use, and we know that process of elimination is a task that must be undertaken now.”
At Grays Harbor, the state’s final environmental impact statement for one of the last remaining fossil fuel proposals found “significant and unavoidable environmental impacts to health and safety if a crude oil spill, fire, or explosion occurs,” as well as impacts to tribal resources. It recommended more than 70 mitigation measures to reduce those risks, should the city of Hoquiam approve the proposal.
Throughout the Pacific Northwest, strength against the persistent intimidation of the fossil fuel industry has been found in this tribal-led coalition. “Tribal people are now, and have always been, the caretakers of the land,” Sharp said. “Our words have not always been heard. But when it comes to our sacred land, air, and water, we will always take a stand on behalf of life and the natural heritage we have inherited.”
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Humans can Take Measures to Reduce their Vulnerabilities
Humans can reduce their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Actions such as moving to higher ground to avoid rising sea levels, planting new crops that will thrive under new climate conditions, or using new building technologies represent adaptation strategies. Adaptation often requires financial investment in new or enhanced research, technology, and infrastructure.
Click to open the tabs to learn about climate change impacts on tribal communities and ways they can reduce their vulnerabilities
For a good summary of climate change vulnerabilities for indigenous peoples in the U.S., visit the National Climate Assessment:
For a summary of how the Northwest is adapting to climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, click the button below:
Reducing Vulnerabilities: Tribal Profiles
Tribes across the United States are leading the way with innovative efforts to address climate change through adaptation and mitigation strategies. The Tribal Climate Change Profiles are intended to be a pathway to increasing knowledge among tribal and non-tribal organizations interested in learning about climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals also publishes these profiles, as well as additional profiles they generate on their Tribes & Climate Change website: www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest.asp.
Nooksack Indian Tribe: Rivers and Glaciers —Keeping salmon and the ecosystem healthy in light of climate change and distressed ecosystems. In response to concerns about the Nooksack River and the glaciers that drain into it, the Nooksack Indian Tribe is undertaking efforts to address climate change and its impacts on Nooksack Usual and Accustomed lands and its people. Specifically, the Tribe is exploring climate impacts facing their lands as a way to address the continued health of salmon: riparian ecosystem health, stream and river temperatures, sediment loading in the watershed, and impacts of climate change on glaciers and the hydrology of the Nooksack River. Salmon in the Nooksack River are already severely stressed by a variety of factors including wide scale-watershed alteration by forest practices, channelization of the river, pollution and human-induced habitat loss. Climate impacts, therefore, have the potential to cause major additional harm to salmonid populations in the Nooksack River. Mitigating the impacts of climate change is therefore an integral part of ensuring that the Nooksack watershed is able to continue supporting salmon at harvestable levels. This profile draws on the work of the Nooksack Indian Tribe to address climate change impacts on the hydrology of the Nooksack River and salmon survival and recovery.
Nez Perce Tribe: Clearwater River Subbasin Climate Change Adaptation Plan. In an effort to prepare for changes to their homelands’ ecology, the Nez Perce Tribe’s Water Resources Division created a climate change adaptation plan for the Clearwater River Subbasin in 2011. The plan focuses on climate impacts to water and forestry resources, two areas of natural resource management that are both culturally and economically important to the Nez Perce Tribe. The adaptation plan includes an assessment of existing conditions in the subbasin, and data on how changes in climate may impact forests, waters, and the local economy. This profile highlights the efforts of the Nez Perce Tribe to increase awareness of climate change issues in their region through this plan, as well as their strategies for integrating adaptation into existing and future management plans. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_nezperce_clearwater.asp
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes: Climate Change Strategic Plan In response to growing concerns about the impacts of climate change on tribal members and on their homelands, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have developed a Climate Change Strategic Plan. The Tribes worked with several partners, including Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee, Kootenai Culture Committee, Next Seven Group LLC, the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC), the Kresge Foundation, and the Roundtable of the Crown Continent Adaptive Management Initiative, to develop a plan to inform the tribal policy and actions moving forward. This plan brings together the knowledge of elders with scientific observations to document existing impacts and prepare for future changes. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_kootenai.asp
Jamestown S’Klallam Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan In order to promote climate resilience in their community, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has developed a Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan. Drawing on an Environmental Protection Agency Indian General Assistance Program (IGAP) grant, and in collaboration with Adaptation International and Washington Sea Grant, the Tribe developed a plan that addresses sea level rise, ocean acidification, salmon health, natural disasters and shifts in species ranges. The plan drew on input from tribal leaders, elders and technical staff to ensure that tribal concerns were considered. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe sees climate adaptation as a process, not an outcome; this plan is part of an ongoing effort by the Tribe to prepare for climate impacts on their community. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_skallam.asp
The Swinomish Tribe and Tsleil Waututh First Nation Correlation and Climate Sensitivity of Human Health and Environmental Indicators in the Salish Sea In 2012, the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative awarded over $300,000 to seven projects aimed at increasing the use of TEK in climate change adaptation and natural and cultural management. The Swinomish Tribe and Tsleil Waututh First Nation, two peoples of the Salish Sea, collaborated together on one of these projects. By bringing together data on environmental, cultural and human health impacts, the project partners are refining their understanding about what areas within their communities may be most sensitive to climate impacts. In doing so, the Swinomish Tribe and Tsleil Waututh First Nation are gaining a more complete understanding of how climate change may affect their communities. This innovative approach builds upon previous work done by the Swinomish Tribe and has potential as a model for other tribal communities aiming to better understand climate impacts to their people and homelands. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_swinomish_tsleil.asp
South Central Climate Science Center: Tribal Climate Change Variability Workshops In the South Central US, particularly severe climate impacts are projected to occur. With support from the South Central Climate Science Center (SCCSC) and Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP), the University of Oklahoma (OU) hosted a series of five intertribal workshops on climate impacts. Paulette Blanchard, a Master’s candidate at OU who played an instrumental role in organizing the workshops, brought together native filmmakers with tribal participants to discuss ways that native people can document their experiences and challenges with climate impacts. These workshops also provided an opportunity for tribes and governmental agencies such as the SCCSC to establish working relationships. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/plains_sccsc.asp
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians: Climate Change and Environmental Management Programs Concerned about the effects of climate change on their homeland and surrounding environment, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians have taken numerous steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change on tribal peoples, land, and resources. This profile describes the climate change programs implemented by the Santa Ynez Chumash Environmental Office and the Chumash Casino Resort to address climate change adaptation and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/southwest_chumash.asp
Indigenous Peoples and Northwest Climate Initiatives: Exploring the Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Resource Management In 2012, the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC) and the Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC) awarded funds to seven projects that facilitate the use of traditional ecological knowledge to help inform natural and cultural resource management. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided funds to the NPLCC for these projects, with two of the projects co-sponsored by the Northwest Climate Science Center. This profile is the first step in an ongoing effort to share information about these tribally led projects. It provides information on each of the grants awarded to tribes and First Nations in the NPLCC, and includes an overview of the NPLCC and the NW CSC. The profile showcases projects and shares the diverse ways in which tribal, First Nations and Alaska Native communities are gathering TEK, integrating this knowledge into resource management, and addressing gaps in climate change information. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/tdk_nplcc.asp
Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Healthy Ecosystems Summit
In August 2012, the Snoqualmie Tribe of Washington celebrated indigenous knowledge systems by hosting the Traditional Knowledge and Healthy Ecosystems Summit. The Summit, held at the Skamania Lodge near Stevenson, WA, brought together indigenous leaders, tribal members, resource managers, academics and students to discuss and learn about the importance of traditional knowledge in natural resource management and in everyday ways of life. Participants came from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and British Columbia to partake in the various presentations, roundtables, panels, and workshops that formed part of this event. This profile describes some of the highlights from the event, including talks from keynote speakers Daniel Wildcat and Larry Merculiefff, storytelling by elders, presentations on traditional knowledge in contemporary resource management and indigenous health, and field trips featuring traditional sites and activities.
Vulnerability of Coastal Louisiana Tribes in a Climate Change Context
Living among the bayous in southern Louisiana, coastal tribes have a long history of vulnerability to and impacts from a range of environmental and human-caused events, including storms, subsidence, land sinking and shrinking, sea-level rise and oil spills. These events have posed uncommon challenges to these indigenous communities. In January 2012, several tribal communities from coastal Louisiana (including Grand Bayou Village, Grand Caillou/Dulac, Isle de Jean Charles and Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribes) met to “share knowledge, support, cultural connectivity and adaption strategies” in response to the significant environmental changes they face. This meeting, convened by the tribes and attended by the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), brought together local tribal members, national tribal leaders, faith leaders, government agency representatives, and resource specialists to share information on the various opportunities, resources, and programs available to tribal communities experiencing the impacts of large-scale environmental change. This profile explores the ways in which climate change may exacerbate the challenges already facing coastal Louisiana tribes and potential strategies to assist these tribes in addressing their vulnerability. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/gulfcoast_lacoastal.asp
First Stewards Symposium: Coastal Peoples Address Climate Change
In July 2012, four coastal treaty tribes from Washington State: the Hoh, Makah, and Quileute Tribes and Quinault Indian Nation, hosted the First Stewards Symposium at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC in recognition of the rapid changes coastal tribes are experiencing from climate change and changes in marine ecosystems. The Symposium convened coastal people from across the United States to discuss the impacts of climate change and strategies for mitigation and adaptation. Tribal leaders, governmental and non-governmental agency representatives, academics, and non-profit indigenous advocates came together to demonstrate the impacts of climate change in regions throughout the U.S. and its territories and how indigenous adaptations to climate change can guide society moving forward. The Symposium emphasized strategies to promote actions in society-at-large to adapt to climate change and discussed the opportunity for native people to be leaders and provide models for other native and non-native communities. The First Stewards Symposium led to a resolution illustrating the impacts of climate change on traditional ways of life and culture and calling for the formal recognition and inclusion of indigenous communities in the formation of policies, management and other government action. This profile highlights the speakers, issues and outcomes from the First Stewards Symposium. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/tdk_firststwrds.asp
Siletz Tribal Energy Program The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, located on the Oregon coast, have created an innovative renewable energy program. The Siletz Tribal Planning Department created the Siletz Tribal Energy Program (STEP) through a grant from the Administration for Native Americans in 2009. STEP works within the tribal community to encourage efficient energy use and reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Much of their work is focused on improving tribal buildings and homes. STEP prioritizes community involvement as a way to increase awareness of tribal members, promote skills-training in the tribal community and promote tribal independence in energy; tribal outreach is a major aspect of STEP’s work. This profile examines the ranges of their programs, including weatherization and energy efficiency, conservation, renewable power and solar. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_siletz.asp
Karuk Tribe: Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge within Natural Resource Management Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) plays a significant role in the Karuk Tribe’s approach to natural resource management, which is guided by a respect for the relationships between species, their habitats and the belief that fostering ecosystem resilience is critical to ensuring sustainability. In 2010, the Karuk Tribe released a draft Eco-Cultural Resources Management Plan to create a long-term adaptation strategy for the protection, enhancement and utilization of cultural and natural resources. The Eco-Cultural Resources Management Plan establishes a framework for considering a wide range of human and environmental stressors to the Karuk Tribe, including climate change. This profile explores the role of traditional ecological knowledge in the Karuk Tribe’s Eco-Cultural Resource Management Plan, the ways in which this unique approach may contribute to tribal efforts to address climate change, and the importance of the federal-tribal relationship in addressing climate change. http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_karuk.asp
First Foods and Climate Change (Download First Foods Profile) Indigenous populations in North America face significant threats from climate change. One area of great concern is how first foods will be impacted by climate change. Because of the vital role that first foods play in the physical, mental and spiritual health of native communities, impacts from climate change on first foods may negatively affect tribal culture and livelihood. This profile explores the challenges that indigenous peoples face in maintaining their historically important relationships with first foods in the context of climate change. The profile also outlines the impacts that climate change may have on many first foods, describes challenges facing indigenous peoples in continuing their relationship with first foods, and explore ways in which they have adapted or responded to these challenges. Also available at: http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/tdk_firstfoods.asp
The Lummi Nation: Pursuing Clean Renewable Energy (Download Lummi Nation Profile) The Lummi Nation has launched a number of renewable energy projects to reduce its environmental impact and to contribute to its goal of energy self-sufficiency. These projects include conducting a wind energy development feasibility assessment, lighting a walking trail with solar LEDs, installing a geothermal heat pump system for a new administrative building, and developing a strategic energy plan to coordinate future efforts. This profile provides detailed information on the wind energy development feasibility assessment project and also examines the opportunities and motivation that inspired the Lummi Nation to explore the options for renewable energy on their tribal lands. Also available at: http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_lummi.asp
Climate Change: Realities of Relocation for Alaska Native Villages (Download Alaska Native Relocation Profile) As temperatures across the Arctic rise at twice the global average, the impacts of climate change in Alaska are already being felt (IPCC 2007). Alaska Natives are among the most impacted in this region, and, according to the Government Accountability Office in 2004, flooding and erosion affected 86% of Alaska Native villages to some extent, and by 2009, the GAO reported that flooding and erosion imminently threatened thirty-one villages. This profile examines the challenges of relocation and offers examples from three Alaska Native villages working to protect their people, culture and natural resources. Also available at: http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/ak_inupiaq_AkRelocation.asp.
Swinomish Climate Change Initiative: At the Forefront of Planning for Climate Change (Download Swinomish Profile)
In 2007, the Swinomish Tribe passed a climate change proclamation in response to growing concerns about potential impacts of climate change on the Swinomish Indian Reservation. This profile highlights the projected climate change impacts on the tribe, the tribe’s planning process for the impact assessment and action plan development, as well as key partners and project successes and challenges. Also available at: http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_swinomish.asp
Climate Change and the Coquille Indian Tribe: Planning for the Effects of Climate Change and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Download Coquille Profile) In 2008, the Coquille Indian Tribe established a Climate Change Committee to engage tribal government, tribal members, and natural and cultural resource managers in the development of a Climate Change Action Plan. This profile highlights key concerns and potential climate change impacts to the Coquille Tribe, and initial tribal strategies to address climate change. Also available at: http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_coquille.asp
Nez Perce Tribe: Carbon Sequestration Program (Download Nez Perce Profile) In the 1990’s, the Nez Perce Forestry & Fire Management Division began developing a carbon offset strategy to market Carbon Sequestration Credits. This profile describes the tribe’s initial trial afforestation project, and their strategies for reinvesting revenue from the sale of carbon to invest in additional afforestation projects, wildlife rehabilitation and forest development. Also available at: http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest_nezperce.asp
Tribes can Lead the Way
Much of the world's plant and animal communities has been in the hands of traditional peoples—societies of hunters and gatherers, herders, fishers, agriculturists—for a great many generations. In fact, pre-scientific, traditional systems of knowledge and management have been the main way that societies have managed the land and natural resources for many thousands of years. Those uses of the land and systems of management are sustainable. They do not compromise the interests of future generations because they enable societies to use their environment in a way that maintains the integrity of their local ecosystems.
In that sense, traditional systems of knowledge are not just curiosities, but are important for rediscovering principles and techniques for how our modern societies, in the face of a major climate crisis, can mitigate and adapt and in the end develop sustainable ways of living. Tribes throughout the Americas and around the world are working hard to deliver this message as the video below shows.
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It's not just talk: The Evidence Speaks for Itself
TEK Complements Western Science
Swinomish Climate Change Adapation Action Plan
This Climate Adaptation Action Plan presents the first comprehensive assessment of strategies and options to address an array of climate change issues. In presenting this Action Plan, the discussion keys in on the following:
- Review of the impacts and process of assessment leading to this report;
- The particular significance of these issues to a tribal way of life going back generations;
- The process and methodologies for evaluating strategy options to address impacts;
- Major priority issues and key recommendations; and
- Critical considerations for implementation of recommendations.
Misconceptions about this Principle
CO2 limits that will mitigate climate change will harm the economy.
The misconception or myth goes something like this: “Passing laws to limit greenhouse gas emissions hurt the economy and damage the Gross Domestic Product “GDP” growth of developing countries [...] This in turn will increase poverty.”
Economic studies show that, while environmental regulations (like reducing CO2 emissions) may cost companies money, their net benefits often greatly exceed their costs.
In recent years, the U.S. set a 17% target [for emissions reduction]; the country is on track to meet that. At the same time, the U.S. has doubled our production of clean energy — wind-energy production is up three-fold, solar is up twenty-fold (as of 2015). All this while we have come out of the worst recession in the nation’s history. So, we've been able to grow the economy from the depths of a deep recession while emitting less carbon than we did previously. Read more…