Rediscovering Indigenous Climate Knowledge for Better Responses to Climate Change: Insights from Muzarabani (Chanza, Nelson / de Witt, Anton)

This article sets discourse by demonstrating the utility of indigenous climate knowledge (ICK) in understanding the science of climate change in Muzarabani, a rural community north of Zimbabwe. It argues that the notion of sacredness, enshrined in customary arrangements and belief systems, offers opportunities for exploitation in climate science. Through customary law, communities understand the sanctity and inviolability of the environment because of the varied cultural, political and ecological benefits derived from it. This perspective, although facing perpetuity challenges in Africa, can be exploited both to enhance understanding of climate change and to promote sustainable intervention strategies. By drawing from the experiences of indigenous people through in-depth conservations with a selected elderly local group, the paper proves that ICK offers capabilities in informing climate science. The local people have a range of sacred sites and environmental assets that can be used to understand past, current, and future climate systems from their many years of interactions with the same. Sacred forests and trees are also vital in climate change mitigation. It is concluded that, albeit limitations in scale, opportunities exist for tapping from the sacredness notions, to enhance the praxis of mitigation strategies such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).



Created Date: 04-11-2015
Last Updated Date: 30-11-2015
License: Link only