Compendium of climate change case studies, adaptation and Indigenous Peoples

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Home » Thematic Areas » TK & Climate Change » Compendium of climate change case studies, adaptation and Indigenous Peoples

Compendium of climate change case studies, adaptation and Indigenous Peoples

This comprehensive compendium of case studies forms the basis of a review of the current state of activities related to climate change and indigenous peoples. It contains close to 400 detailed examples.

It will be published in late 2009. A working draft is provided here for review. Please contact Kirsty Galloway McLean (g_mclean [at] with any comments and suggestions, particularly if you have additional case studies to recommend for inclusion in the assessment.

Download the draft for comment...

I.  Contents of the Compendium

This compendium incorporates material from different disciplines and covers a diversity of approaches to data collection and project reporting drawn from the literature. The nature of data, indicators and analyses used ranges from population ecology, vegetation analysis, climate modelling, and economic analyses; to interviews, inventories and cultural domain analysis. It therefore includes both quantitative and qualitative reporting.

The projects from which the case studies have been drawn have, in most cases, produced a separate report or reports elsewhere, which contain more thorough discussions of methods, approaches, and results, and references are provided to allow more detailed examination of each of these activities.

 II. Selection of Projects for Inclusion

A.  Relevance to climate change

Adaptation measures are rarely taken in response to climate change alone. Typically, indigenous initiatives to address or report on climate change are embedded within broader sectoral initiatives such as diversifying livelihoods, conservation of biodiversity, sustainable development, water resource planning, and disaster management planning. Therefore, many of the observations and interpretations given in the case studies reflect an interaction between climate change and other factors, rather than being the result of climate change in isolation.

An important criteria for inclusion in the compendium is that these responses have been identified by indigenous peoples participating in the process as deliberate responses to climate triggers.

Large scale (typically international) projects that include responses to climate change with at least one secondary objective are included. Smaller scale projects with numerous components are only included if responses to climate change are primary objectives.

B.  Relevance to indigenous peoples

Projects were primarily selected for inclusion on the basis that they that demonstrated either:

  • full engagement by indigenous peoples (i.e. projects that were either implemented by an indigenous organization, or designed exclusively to benefit indigenous peoples); or
  • strong involvement of indigenous peoples (i.e. distinct components or sub-projects benefiting and targeting indigenous peoples, or carried out by an indigenous organization).

Reviews and case studies that take into account observations from a number of community representatives within a region are included. However, case studies mainly comprising of individual observations of climate change are typically excluded.  

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