It is the time to say goodbye to some things we’ll never see again. But it is also time to build new knowledge. We must be on the land as it is changing, so that we can change with it.Tero Mustonen, Snowchange Cooperative, Finland
The Indigenous peoples and local communities profiled in the pages of the ARCHIPELAGO OF HOPE live on different continents, rely on different ecosystems, have different stories of origin, and face different challenges, of which climate change is. Still, as humankind grapples with the challenges of climate change, we can all learn from key ideas common for all these stories.
“Land is Life”
This is one of the fundamental ideas coming from the Indigenous peoples profiled on the pages of the ARCHIPELAGO OF HOPE. Staying connected to their traditional territory, and changing with it as it transforms, is the best climate change adaptation strategy, because it enables the Indigenous peoples to immediately respond to the effects of climate change they observe. According to Resilience Science, maintaining such tight feedbacks between the social and ecological systems enhances their resilience in the face of climate change.
“Everything is connected”
This is another key principle describing the way in which local communities interact with Nature. All of the Indigenous peoples featured in the book are intimately aware of the web of relationships that sustains them and their traditional territories—from the mountain glaciers to the coastal mudflats, from the open ocean to the rainforest, from their ancestors to future generations. The Interdependence of animate and inanimate, spiritual and physical, past and future, rights and responsibilities, traditional knowledge and science are fundamentally important for sustaining our planet’s biocultural diversity and, according to Gaia Theory, life on Earth. Being aware of and making every effort to maintain these links, is critical for us all.
The 3Rs of Resilience
Despite everything that the modern world has thrown at them, Indigenous peoples profiled on the pages of the ARCHIPELAGO OF HOPE have found ways to persevere, and even thrive, by keeping their links to the land and other living beings. What makes these Indigenous communities resilient is that their stewardship of the land is based on Respect, Reciprocity and Reverence (3Rs) to each other, their neighbors, and the Earth.
Rights and Responsibilities
Traditional territories of Indigenous peoples continue to support the majority of the Earth’s remaining biological and cultural diversity,intact forests, undammed rivers, and ecosystem services, which arefundamental forregulating the global climate. Recognizing Indigenous peoples’ inherent rights to fulfill the sacred responsibilities of looking after their traditional territories—the obligations they inherited from their ancestors and are passing on to their descendants– is a prerequisite for sustaining the integrity and resilience of these places, which benefits all humankind.