Climate change and its impact on Ibaloi culture

Climate change and its impact on Ibaloi culture

Minnie DEGAWAN

International Forest and Climate Initiative, World Wildlife Fund

The presentation will focus on the impact of climate change on the food security of the Kankanay and Ibaloi indigenous peoples.  For these communities, who are subsistence farmers, it is of utmost importance to be able to predict weather patterns to be able to adopt their agricultural cycles.  The years of interaction between  indigenous peoples and their   environment has developed a system of predicting weather patterns which enabled them to plant the appropriate crops thereby ensuring their food security. Such knowledge has been passed from generation to generation through actual experience and narratives.  For generations, the indigenous Kankanaey and Ibaloi have relied on this traditional system close  observation of their environment to deal with climate change.  Such is now being challenged and the very survival of these subsistence communities is at stake.  The presentation will rely on researches previously done in the two communities of Sagada and Dalupirip.  These researches were done via focused group discussions among elders, women and local government officials.  Additionally, most of ideas were gathered from remembered stories heard during community gatherings.  Such ideas were then checked and validated during the focus group discussions.  The presentation will be done in the tradition of story telling (dad-dad-at).

Bio

Minnie Degawan is a Kankanaey-Igorot from the Cordillera, Philippines.  She has been an activist for indigenous peoples rights since her student days when she joined mass mobilizations calling for the cancellation of the World Bank funded Chico River Dam project that would have meant the death of the Kalinga and Bontoc Igorots.  After the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship, she joined the Cordillera People Alliance in working for the recognition of the right to self-determination of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera through community educatio, and organizing.  The years she spent as a community educator/organizer provided her the necessary grounding to be involved in  international policy advocacy  work, she actively participated in the drafting of the UNDRIP and in the discussions leading to the formation of the UNPFII.  She would later on become the Secretary General of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and an active member of the International Coordinating Committee of the International Alliance of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests.    She is currently working with the Forest and Climate Program of the WWF as the Safeguards Adviser.

 

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