Home > Uncategorized > Seminar Review over Dr. Kassam

Seminar Review over Dr. Kassam

The seminar presented the impact climate change currently has on indigenous populations in high latitude and high altitude regions. The case studies used in the presentation were over the Inupiat people in Wainwright, Alaska and a conglomeration of indigenous people that live in the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan. Each case study showed how the relevance of indigenous knowledge and in-situ knowledge, or participatory knowledge was used to understand the implications climate change has on their ways of life and if they will be able to anticipate future changes to adapt and survive. The implications of climate change on the Inupiat in Alaska are being affected through the change in sea ice composition. The sea ice is melting sooner and freezing later than the Inupiat have traditionally been use to. The changes in sea ice affect their way of subsistence hunting, making it more dangerous for the hunters as well as putting greater pressure on other parts of the ecosystem that until recently haven’t been affected. The second case study was over several groups of agricultural and pastoral peoples in the Pamir Mountains. Just like the Inupiat these indigenous people’s culture is very much connected with nature especially their connection to agriculture. With the warming climate there are increased water levels in rivers and lakes due to more rapid snow and glacial melt and loss of farmland due to flooding. The change in temperature is affecting planting and harvesting time, creating anxiety, which is a problem because much of their culture and traditions are tied to planting and harvesting festivals and celebrations. The implications of climate change on these peoples are their inability to anticipate context specific seasonal changes. There is a deep connection between culture, nature, and values all of which are built on the base of ecology. When climate change seriously impacts the ecological base of indigenous people it causes a diminishing capacity for resilience as well as a predictive capacity.

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