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Building resilience to climate change through indigenous knowledge: the case of Bolivia

Indigenous knowledge plays an important role in the way communities interact with their climate. However, according to this ‘Inside story on climate compatible development’ by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), the increase of extreme weather events and disasters calls for new partnerships between indigenous people and the scientific community – an area where Bolivia could lead the way. The brief finds that indigenous people have reported that traditional climatic indicators are no longer as reliable as in the past and provide little protection against the impacts of severe weather on crops and livestock. Yet, indigenous knowledge can be combined with scientific methods to allow vulnerable populations to better adapt to climate change. The brief presents Bolivia’s Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra (Law of the Rights of Mother Earth) as an example of one important tool for indigenous people, which can also provide useful lessons to other countries and communities.