Unlocking Climate Solutions: From the Pacific Islands to the Arctic, why Indigenous knowledge must take centre stage.

The Pacific Islands are under threat. Climate change has led to warmer waters, changing weather patterns, flooding and coral bleaching, and many islands are predicted to be lost to rising seas within our lifetime. Simultaneously, the Arctic is warming quicker than any other region on Earth and Arctic cultures are experiencing the devastating erosion of their land as ice caps continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Despite the vast geographical distance between the Arctic and Pacific Islands, it is striking that many of the challenges facing these communities as a consequence of the climate crisis are the same, yet both were largely ignored when they raised the alarm decades ago. It is now time for their voices to be heard.

One Young World, the global forum for young leaders, in collaboration with the British Museum and the Republic of Palau, is hosting an immersive panel at the Cinema Auditorium.The discussion will surround the symbiotic relationship between people and nature, highlighting the importance of amplifying and learning from the voices and work of Indigenous communities when it comes to the safeguarding of our natural world. Featuring speakers hailing from both Arctic and Pacific Island communities, this panel will serve to highlight the key learnings in adaptation and resilience from these two unique communities.


World Leaders, Listen Up! Sky Kids Screening, plus Q&A with Steve Backshall: ‘COP26: In Your Hands’ and ‘Sharks Up Close’

Hear from kids around the globe in family-friendly Sky Kids screening of COP26: In Your Hands, and new Sky Kids series Sharks Up Close, with eco-alien OBKI and MC Grammar’s Wonder Raps, followed by a Q&A with Steve Backshall.


Indigenous calls for climate action – A screening of 4 documentary films giving voice to Indigenous Peoples from Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Myanmar

The event will give the audience a unique insight into Indigenous knowledge holders’ reflections on the climate crisis. The voices of Indigenous women, men and youth from Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Myanmar will be heard at this screening of award-winning documentaries by the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs – IWGIA. The audience will also be given the opportunity to ask questions to Indigenous representatives as well as to the producer.

The Indigenous testimonies in the documentary films will make the audience put aside the negotiation texts for a moment, and refocus on the real and urgent reason of why we are gathered at COP 26. The reflections and wisdoms by Indigenous knowledge holders will provide insights into Indigenous Peoples’ environmental stewardship and sustainable living from which society ought to listen and learn.

IWGIA is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights. The event is co-organised by Promotion of Indigenous and Nature Together (POINT), an Indigenous Peoples organisation from Myanmar, and the Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampis Nation (GTANW) from Peru.

The documentary films will have Spanish/English subtitles/dubbing, and interpretation will be provided for the Q&A session.


Voices from the Forest: A Film Showcase For People and Forests

The Environmental Investigation Agency, If Not Us Then Who and Rainforest Foundation UK, along with Kaoem Telapak and the Tenure Facility, present a showcase of short films highlighting the role local communities play in forest protection, and the urgent need to include them as partners to protect the threatened forests of the world.

The films will present challenges and solutions in trying to protect forests in Indonesia and the Congo Basin. Forest advocates and local community leaders will give presentations to accompany the films that will highlight recent challenges and ongoing efforts by communities protecting and managing their forests.

If Not Us Then Who will premiere a film produced by
Indigenous People in Indonesia with an Indigenous Leader presenting alongside it. EIA will present clips from their new film Indonesia: the Fight for the Remaining Forest alongside presentations by Indonesian forest advocates Mardi Minangsari and Abu Meridian. Rainforest Foundation UK will present films on community forestry and the steps communities are taking to protect forests in the Congo Basin and West Africa.


Climate and the Deep Sea World: Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Global Efforts – A Visual Journey and Panel

The backdrop of legends and movies, the deep sea has always been unfathomable because we had no idea what existed there. Once thought to be barren of life, we now know this couldn’t be further from the truth. Life exists under extreme conditions at these depths and with every deep-sea expedition we gain a greater understanding of the crucial services it provides our planet. Although seemingly remote, the deep sea plays a key role in our climate. Better understanding of remote and deep-sea biodiversity, offers insight into how these systems both influence the climate and are, in turn, influenced by climate change. These insights are made with the help of new technologies such as Schmidt Ocean Institute’s 4,500 meter capable underwater robot, ROV SuBastian. This two hour event will feature exclusive, award-winning, video content from deep sea waters showcasing new species and underwater features with interviews from scientists around the world discussing the impact of climate change on these fragile ecosystems. Footage will be shared from the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea Marine Parks in Australia, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati, the Mariana Trench in Guam, submarine volcanoes of Tonga, hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California – Mexico, and white shark feeding grounds in the high seas. The film will be followed by a panel centered on climate impacts in the deep sea and how we can better understand and mitigate this in order to improve the overall health of our planet. The panel will include Ocean experts focused on high seas, biodiversity and seabed mapping.


Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, a cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet

The High Commission of Canada in the UK presents an exclusive IMAX screening of the multiple-award winning Canadian documentary, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, a cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet.

From concrete seawalls covering 60% of China’s mainland coast to the psychedelic potash mines of Russia’s Ural Mountains, Canadian directors Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky take us on a provocative journey exploring our species’ impact on the planet.

The Anthropocene Project is a multidisciplinary body of work combining art, film, virtual reality, augmented reality and scientific research to investigate human influence on the state, dynamic and future of the Earth.

For more details please visit https://theanthropocene.org/ Screening will be accompanied by introductory remarks and a post screening discussion. Details will be released closer to the event. Presented by the High Commission of Canada in The UK, with grateful thanks to Motion Picture Solutions and The IMAX Corporation.


‘Our Village, Community Corner ’ organised by ‘If Not Us Then Who?

‘Our Village, Community Corner ’ organised by ‘If Not Us Then Who?’ presents an immersive multimedia IMAX experience from inside indigenous minds to the soul of the climate justice movement.

Featuring a new theatre piece, ‘Can I Live?’ from Complicité & Fehinti Balogun. Fehinti tells the story of how, as a Black British man, his path was forever changed by what he learnt about our planet.

Following this will be a discussion by local community climate leaders from the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities – APIB, AMAN, AMPB, COICA; the Black & Indigenous Liberation Movement, the Hip Hop Caucus, including emerging indigenous storytellers and live music from Eric Terena, Brazilian Indigenous DJ.

All around the world local communities are responding to climate change with powerful resilience, innovative action, and a spirit that can profoundly impact our world. OUR VILLAGE invites people from all walks of life to belong to a community inspired by justice and our connection to the earth. www.ourvillage.us


Voices Of The Land by Listening to the Land Pilgrimage for Nature & Friends

On September 4, 2021, a group of ordinary people set off on a 500 mile pilgrimage from London to Glasgow, on a mission to rediscover their roots and inspire multitudes to slow down, connect with nature and articulate their love for the living world. This pilgrimage has caused a ripple effect and inspired people to walk all around the world.

The event will feature a short documentary of this epic journey along the Spine of Albion in the UK and will showcase indigenous and re-indigenised people from around the world who are connecting to the earth and to one another to stand up for all we are about to lose; supported by letter readings and followed by soundbites from indigenous people and other groups who walked their land around the globe.

Speakers: representatives of indigenous and re-indigenised pilgrims from the UK and around the world, Listening to the Land – Pilgrimage for Nature co-founders Jolie Booth and Anna Lehmann, Kay Michael director of Letters to the Earth; Nick Lunch director of Insight Share and representatives of Still Moving and Wisdom Keepers


ACE and the Clean Energy Transition

Efforts to embed the environmental democracy principles of open government, citizen participation, and access to justice principles in environmental governance – have been ongoing since the 1992 Rio Summit. Yet the potential of these principles to enhance climate action has yet to be realised. Action on Climate Empowerment (ACE) and environmental democracy can strengthen the participation of citizens, local communities, women, and indigenous peoples in energy decision-making, creating powerful tools for convincing decision-makers to undertake ambitious, just clean energy objectives and orientate them to fulfil them with the widest societal ownership. Societal ownership can, in turn, facilitate the implementation of ambitious clean energy objectives and enhance legal certainty. The adoption of the Glasgow ACE Work Programme brings a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the clean energy transition.

WFD will convene a panel in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), International IDEA, Climate Action Network (CAN), E3G and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS) of the UK House of Commons to:

  • Provide views on how to ensure that climate empowerment is placed at the heart of national action plans on climate as a delivery mechanism of the Paris Agreement and its ‘ratchet mechanism’.
  • Highlight the role of Parliaments to serve as major hubs for innovative action for clean energy climate empowerment and demonstrate the example of the UK Climate Assembly in generating and integrating citizens’ views into policymaking as regards societal preferences for a zero-carbon energy mix.
  • Showcase examples of environmental democracy worldwide driving climate action including the transition to clean energy. (MPs from Costa Rica, Georgia, Pakistan).


Minga Indígena Declaration Letter for COP26 Leaders

Minga Indígena, a civil society organization born in the Andes, brings Indigenous leaders—youth and elders— from all over the world. At COP26 they will present the first chapter of the docu-series “Aprendiendo a Ser Humanos. Learning To Be Human” produced alongside The Allianza, which features thirteen elders and protectors of the most iconic territories of the world sharing wisdom that is crucial to buffer extreme weather events across regions, with the intention of inspiring others. Three indigenous youth will then read and hand in a collective Letter to members of the IPCC and of the COP26 Presidency as well as the Champion, with a special request that their petitions be included in climate negotiations. The event will be followed by a press conference.

Minga Indigena, una organización de la sociedad civil gestada en los Andes, trae a la COP26 a líderes indígenas, jóvenes y ancianos, de todo el mundo. En este espacio presentará el primer capítulo del docu-serie producido junto con La Allianza “Aprendiendo a ser Humano” donde líderes indígenas mayores y jóvenes protectores de los territorios más emblemáticos del mundo comparten su sabiduría para evitar eventos climáticos extremos en las principales regiones del mundo, con la intención de inspirar a nuevos guardianes. Luego, tres jóvenes leerán y entregarán una Carta colectiva a los miembros del IPCC y de la Presidencia de la COP26 así como al Champion, con la solicitud especial de que sus peticiones se incluyan en las negociaciones. El evento será seguido por una conferencia de prensa.


Being Salmon, Being Human

The acclaimed storytelling and yoik performance “Being Salmon, Being Human” is inspired by Dr. Martin Lee Mueller’s award-winning book by the same name. The performance takes us on a journey through the extraordinary lives of wild salmon – sentient beings who are born in rivers, traverse the oceans, and return towards the end of their lives to their birth rivers to spawn and gift forward more life.

The performance explores what becomes of this awe-inspiring creature and her journey in the face of an expansive, profit-driven feedlot industry. Mueller appears on stage alongside renowned circumpolar sound poet Torgeir Vassvik and folklorist and storyteller Tiril Bryn. The storytelling unfolds alongside Vassvik’s evocative, haunting soundscape.

Together we take a deep-dive into the pancultural encounter between humans and their wild and domesticated animal companions, into stories told since time immemorial, practical knowledge passed on through the generations, and wisdom carried into our time through ancient music. We encounter some of the warriors who have recently stood up in defence of traditional fishing rights and territories. And we encounter her, the sentient being.

Born with a fierce determination to tune in to the speech of all things – to rain shower, lunar cycle, earth’s magnetism, algae bloom, or blue whale’s thousand-mile chant – she learns, as she matures, to think like the ocean. She becomes the ocean thinking itself within her. What is it like to be her? What is it like to be her feedlot cousin, whose life cycle is determined by the demands of a global capital market? How do we grasp that modern story of exploitation? And what clues do we find both in the wisdom of old and in contemporary science to stand up against the suffering of these present days, to unweave dysfunctional stories, and to re-story the ancient human-Earth relationship?


Walk in Beauty: Future Dreaming through Indigenous Knowledges and Western Science

The Groundswell Climate Collective and the Center for Emergent Diplomacy are co-facilitating an interactive workshop that speaks to the skills and knowledge needed to prepare for surviving in the near-term future in harmony with our Living Systems. Working together with workshop attendees, we introduce Indigenous Knowledges, Futurisms, and the “Adjacent Possible” solutions waiting to be discovered, offering resilience in the face of paralyzing complexity and rapidly expanding global warming.

This participatory workshop is designed as a collaborative dialogue with attendees. We will explore ideas, strategies, and practices, based on a combination of Indigenous knowledges and Western science, that can transform thinking about future worlds that are radically shifting and changing due to the climate crisis.

Lead presenters for this workshop are:

Merle Lefkoff, PhD (she/her)– Founding Director of the Center for Emergent Diplomacy, who will speak about a new project and “Playbook” that trains emerging grass-roots community leaders to facilitate local dialogues for preparing to live peacefully and sustainably together in an altered world.

Mary Roessel, MD (she/her)– Navajo Psychiatrist, American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees- will share the immense value, power, and resilience of Indigenous Knowledges and ways of being. Indigenous Peoples have expansive and diverse lived experiences that can offer support in addressing the climate crisis with hope and resilience.

Joe Neidhardt, MD (he/him) – Psychiatrist, Founder Groundswell Climate Collective – will speak to the importance of Indigenous voices and Traditional Ecological Knowledges in combatting the complexities of the climate crisis. His extensive experience working and speaking with Indigenous communities around the world illuminate that these knowledges must lead our way forward. Nicole Neidhardt, MFA (she/her)– Navajo Artist, Founder Groundswell Climate Collective – will share an Indigenous Futurist lens through art and activism to illustrate the critical need for Indigenous future thinking in subverting colonial power structures that have led to the climate crisis.


Earth observation-based innovation by and for Indigenous women for climate change adaptation

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Indigenous Alliance in collaboration with Cultural Survival is organising an Indigenous-led session to address the under-representation and inequality that Indigenous women face, as well as inspire the next generation of women to leverage existing technologies to find creative, low-cost and sustainable solutions to the climate crisis in particular addressing adaptation and nature-based solutions.

Indigenous women are key climate defenders who possess invaluable knowledge and expertise for climate change responses, yet they are the most affected by climate change. Earth observation (EO) data and tools co-designed by and/or with Indigenous communities, are enabling Indigenous women and youth to integrate their Indigenous knowledge with climate change adaptation plans. This is also enabling their voices to be heard in climate policy decisions at the local, national and international levels. Indigenous women will share their innovative projects whilst also outlining the challenges and barriers they face implementing their projects.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Dr. Nicholle Koko Warner, Manager of the “Impacts, Vulnerability, and Risks” subprogramme, Adaptation Programme at UNFCCC
  • Galina Angarova, Executive Director, Cultural Survival
  • Titus Letaapo, Co-founder of the GEO Indigenous Alliance, Managing Director of the Sarara Foundation
  • Polina Sholbaeva, Russian Indigenous coordinator for IIFB at the CBD process/Center for support of indigenous peoples of the North (CSIPN)/Member of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) and the Indigenous Women Biodiversity Network (IWBN)
  • Lilian Nguracha, Founder of Women Conserve
  • Killaq Enuaraq-Strauss, “Inuit Nunangat SIKU Coordinator” Arctic Eider/Siku
  • Yoanna Dimitrova, Member of the Symbols Maps Team, winners of the GEO Indigenous Hack4Covid 2020
  • Noon Altijani Osman Abbakar, Researcher at Oxford University
  • Claudinete Cole, Coordinator of the Association of Remaining Quilombo Communities of the Municipality of Oriximiná (ARQM)
  • Mario Vargas Shakaim, co-foudner of the GEO Indigenous Alliance, Technical coordinator of “All Eyes on the Aamzon” project at the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA)


Tagore and the Environment

Join Dr Bashabi Fraser CBE for this insight into the wisdom of Rabindranath Tagore.

Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but he was also an environmentalist with a global perspective. Rabindranath and his circle’s ecological consciousness is as relevant today as ever. His legacy can be seen in current sustainability policies. His spirit is alive in all voices calling for climate justice and urgent reform.

‘We may become powerful by knowledge, but we attain fullness by sympathy. The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.’
-Rabindranath Tagore, ‘My School’

Bashabi Fraser is also an award winning poet with a global vision. This is an event to refresh and nourish our minds and spirits, from one of Scotland’s finest academics and co-founder of the Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies (ScoTs). Followed by audience discussion.

The event is hosted by the Junor Gallery, which had a presence in the heart of St Andrews, Scotland from 2017 to 2020 and is now online. Its open door policy with its focus on art and poetry, discussion and debate honours the vital role of culture in reflecting on our experience and effecting social change.


Combining Indigenous Knowledge and Technology to act on the Climate Emergency

Mountainous regions are disproportionately affected by the climate emergency. In the Himalayas, Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Pamir mountains, temperatures are rising three times faster than global averages. These areas – home to some of the most isolated yet dynamic communities – are especially vulnerable to earthquakes, floods and other hazards that have caused catastrophic damage in recent years.

How can we prepare for and respond to worsening climate crises? In this event, you can learn how one project harnessed local indigenous knowledge with technology to create effective solutions that respond to the climate emergency, enabling people to build safer homes and communities.

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) in Pakistan integrate the knowledge and experience of indigenous communities alongside advances in technology to conduct hazard, vulnerability and risk assessments (HRVAs) and develop community-based disaster management and habitat development plans. Their innovative work was awarded a Gold World Habitat Award.

AKAH has worked with over 50,0000 volunteers, conducted HVRAs in almost 800 settlements (home to over one million people) and provided over 20,000 households with technical assistance to prepare for disasters and prevent damage when they occur.

Facilitated by World Habitat, this event will feature a documentary about affected communities living on the frontlines of the climate crisis, followed by a panel discussion featuring Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat and members of the Government of Pakistan, including Khalid Khurshid, Chief Minister of Government of Gilgit Baltistan and Malik Amin Aslam, Minister and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Climate Change. The event will also feature Onno Ruhl of AKAH and Louise Winterburn from World Habitat.

You will have the opportunity to question practitioners on how to transfer and replicate their best practices to other areas facing similar climate extremes.