Sam Johnston

COP18: Indigenous knowledges help mitigate climate change

COP18 (03/12/2012) – Sam Johnston, a Senior Research Fellow at the United Nations University, discusses the potential to expand an Australian pilot project reintroducing traditional fire management practices in savannah areas where fire regimes have been suppressed in the past 50 years, for positive biodiversity, mitigation, adaptation, social and health outcomes.

He says that similar conditions exist in many countries, and is confident that this technology can be transported to many other areas in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. He describes the mitigation potential of managing wildfires and how the project generates real, regulated credits for indigenous peoples.

Through the project’s work in communities with governments and local stakeholders, he suggests that  time and respect are needed for effective work with indigenous peoples. He says that his organisation has been able to build a special relationship with indigenous peoples due to its independence, and the acknowledgement that governments work to much shorter timescales than indigenous peoples.