The precipitous rise in the world’s human population and humankind’s
ever-increasing dependence on fossil fuel-based ways of living have
played a significant role in raising the concentration of atmospheric
greenhouse gases (GHG). As a result, global temperatures are increasing,
the sea level is rising, and patterns of precipitation are changing. At
the same time, storm surges, floods, droughts and heat waves are
becoming more frequent and severe. The consequent decline in
agricultural production, increasing freshwater scarcity, and spread of
infectious diseases, are degrading local livelihoods and diminishing
human wellbeing around the world.
Indigenous peoples are the ones affected by the climate change the
most, although they have contributed little to its causes. This is
largely a result of their historic dependence on local biological
diversity, ecosystem services and cultural landscapes as a source of
their sustenance, wellbeing, and resilience.