Minister to host discussion with international leaders on role of traditional knowledge in environmental decision-making
LIMA, PERU, Dec. 8, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Minister Aglukkaq is hosting a discussion in Lima, Peru, to highlight the importance of incorporating traditional knowledge into environmental decision-making. This event will bring together high-level international officials to discuss how traditional knowledge can support the development of successful environmental policies and programs in countries around the world.
Minister Aglukkaq will take the opportunity to share how the Government of Canada has benefited from the inclusion of traditional knowledge in several initiatives, including wildlife management, the protection of migratory birds and the recovery of species at risk. Using this experience, Canada has worked to promote traditional knowledge internationally, including during its Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
Under Canada's leadership, the Arctic Council is now developing a set of recommendations for the consistent integration of traditional and local knowledge in its work.
Nunavut's Environment Minister, the Honourable Johnny Mike, will also be in attendance to share Canada's Northern experience with this international audience. Other attendees from the Canadian Delegation will include: the Honourable Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development for Alberta; the Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Environment for British Columbia; and the Honourable David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change for Quebec.
Gabriel Quijandria, Vice-Minister of Environment of Peru, host of COP20, and Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), are also speaking and welcoming Canada's initiative while underscoring international opportunities to apply traditional knowledge alongside science to improve environmental outcomes.
Canada looks forward to continued international cooperation on considering traditional knowledge in environmental decision-making.
- This discussion, held during COP20 in Lima, is being organized and led by Canada.
- Traditional knowledge can be understood as the knowledge rooted and held in the cultures and communities of Aboriginal peoples.
- When considered alongside science, traditional knowledge contributes to improved understanding of ecological processes, increased efficiency in scientific research and new opportunities for capacity building and learning.
- As the only country to consider traditional knowledge in assessing polar bear population trends, Canada benefits from a world-class system that is science-based and informed by Aboriginal experience with the species.
- In order to realize the benefits of using traditional knowledge to inform science, an approach is needed that engages indigenous peoples effectively throughout the scientific process, from initial design and preparation to data analysis and interpretation.
- Under Canada's chairmanship, the Arctic Council is developing recommendations to incorporate traditional knowledge and local knowledge into the Council's work.
"As an Inuk who was raised in the Canadian Arctic, I have seen first-hand the value traditional knowledge provides in improving our understanding of the world around us. Aboriginal people have a unique understanding of the environment, having lived off the land for thousands of years. I hope today's discussion will foster and advance international awareness about the benefits of incorporating the knowledge held by indigenous peoples into environmental decision-making at both the domestic and international level."
–The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council
SOURCE: Environment Canada
For further information: Shane Buckingham, Office of the Minister of the Environment, 819-997-1441; Media Relations, Environment Canada, 819-934-8008