finding 15.3 : key-message-15-3

Many Indigenous peoples have been proactively identifying and addressing climate impacts; however, institutional barriers exist in the United States that severely limit their adaptive capacities (very high confidence). These barriers include limited access to traditional territory and resources and the limitations of existing policies, programs, and funding mechanisms in accounting for the unique conditions of Indigenous communities. Successful adaptation in Indigenous contexts relies on use of Indigenous knowledge, resilient and robust social systems and protocols, a commitment to principles of self-determination, and proactive efforts on the part of federal, state, and local governments to alleviate institutional barriers (high confidence).

This finding is from chapter 15 of Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II.

Process for developing key messages:

The report authors developed this chapter through technical discussions of relevant evidence and expert deliberation via several meetings, teleconferences, and email exchanges between the spring of 2016 and June 2017. The authors considered inputs and comments submitted by the public in response to the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s (USGCRP) Federal Register Notices, as well as public input provided through regional engagement workshops and engagement webinars. The author team also considered comments provided by experts within federal agencies through a formal interagency review process.

Additional efforts to solicit input for the chapter were undertaken in 2016–2017. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) worked with partners, the College of Menominee Nation, and the Salish Kootenai College to develop and execute an outreach plan for the chapter. This included awarding mini-grants for community meetings in the fall of 2016 and attending and presenting at tribally focused meetings such as the American Indian Higher Education Consortium 2016 Student Conference (March 2016), the Annual National Conference of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (May 2016), the National Tribal Forum on Air Quality (May 2016), the workshops of Rising Voices (2016, 2017), the Native Waters on Arid Lands Tribal Summit (November 2017), the BIA Tribal Providers Conference in Alaska (November 2017), and the Tribes & First Nations Summit (December 2017), among others. Additionally, through these tribal partners, the BIA provided 28 travel scholarships to interested tribal partners to attend and comment on the initial draft content of all regional chapters at the USGCRP’s regional engagement workshops. Additional avenues to communicate during these formal open-comment periods included multiple webinars, website notices on the BIA Tribal Resilience Program page, and email notices through BIA and partner email lists. In particular, the BIA solicited comments from multiple tribal partners on the completeness of the online interactive version of the map in Figure 15.1. Chapter authors and collaborators also presented at interactive forums with tribal representatives, such as the National Adaptation Forum (2017), and in various webinars to extend awareness of formal requests for comment opportunities through the USGCRP and partners, such as the Pacific Northwest Tribal Climate Change Network. The feedback and reports from these activities were used to ensure that the Key Messages and supporting text included the most prominent topics and themes.

Description of evidence base:

There is robust documentation of ongoing Indigenous adaptation to climate variability and change.d3ebe118-8e13-4c66-af22-b50a8a707360,c1162288-6379-4b60-b573-d0f8482d8fa0,1efd326b-addb-4d1b-975c-42ac25c4c349,851780a0-3d5f-4a64-8790-f2240177decc,11e455f7-7614-4372-9382-39d8f4a260c3,5c0caca9-757a-49a3-ab51-596ca95814ad There is also a very strong evidence base with multiple sources, consistent results, and high consensus that Indigenous peoples face obstacles to adaptation, including:

There are many studies that provide evidence with medium consensus that effective participatory planning processes for environmental decision-making (such as for sustainable land management or climate adaptation) are guided by Indigenous knowledge and resilient and robust social systems and protocols).1421b069-116f-4263-a4f7-e80db0ed74bd,93a1158a-17b9-43b9-9743-111f9c7ab8ab,0219be15-0f2c-4907-881a-791bdd20ca6e,6b522738-0939-47b2-bfb2-e589c8679117,846b125d-9b8b-44df-8c1c-91dac70e4b66,11de83bb-c1a8-4a93-aac5-3778ab5d4c5a,3bd11482-e6c7-40d1-9fc4-9b0cfee93e43,c9647af9-db7f-4f6a-89bd-2f2293ad26e5,66055874-5431-432f-b556-be3309877cc8,b3886cc0-6488-4124-9fb3-a71c7f04bd50,3845c887-7e66-4eee-8651-9b345d2611fb In addition, some studies draw conclusions regarding the principles of self-determination in adaptation or relocation planning and decision processes.70dfc033-956a-400a-bc71-86379a7b7350,42269c56-1785-48ec-a81b-6eeb784de417,0a6d16f1-2362-46a1-8bfa-622dc2a43268

New information and remaining uncertainties:

Adaptation is still in its infancy in most Indigenous (and non-Indigenous) communities in the United States, so there have not been enough projects implemented all the way to completion to be able to observe results and draw conclusions regarding the efficacy of any particular adaptation process or approach. Extrapolations can be made, however, from other relevant and closely related environmental decision-making processes, such as for land or water resource management.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence:

Based on the quality of available evidence, the authors have very high confidence that Indigenous peoples are proactively identifying and addressing climate impacts but that many face various obstacles limiting their implementation of adaptation practices. There is high confidence that successful adaptation in Indigenous contexts leverages Indigenous knowledge, robust social systems and protocols, and a commitment to Indigenous self-determination.

References :

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