Social Innovation Factsheet #2.3: Local knowledge & climate change adaptation
Based on a deep understanding of the local environments, local knowledge is a way of life and means of survival for many. It has been passed from generation to generation and is understood by local communities (physically and spiritually), which encourages high community participation and strong communication networks. local knowledge systems evolve and are based on indigenous peoples’ rights and local knowledge and are an effective means to enhance sustainable development in the river basins. However, formal governance and knowledge management systems often do not integrate such valuable information within decision-making processes for water and climate change. Local knowledge can encompass technology, social, economic, philosophical, learning and governance systems which can make a significant contribution to addressing climate change at the local level.
Local knowledge has proven to be compatible with scientific knowledge. Local knowledge must therefore be included in the design and implementation of future climate adaptation processes and efforts made to overcome social exclusion, lack of information systems and inadequate protection from governments that result in the exclusion or erosion of valuable local and indigenous knowledge. This Factsheet highlights a selection of local climate change adaptation strategies or technologies from across Europe and Africa.