We have heard about it all before: rising temperatures, failing crops resulting in food insecurity, the melting ice caps – these are all part of the narrative of climate change. Natural disasters, which seem to be occurring with increasing frequency and magnitude, add to the litany of the world’s climate-related woes. These phenomena are well documented. What isn’t perhaps as well documented is how Indigenous people have dealt with disasters in the past.

The recent cyclones in Africa, earthquakes and tsunamis in Asia, and similar events in the Americas are sadly all too familiar – every time one reads about a new event one gets a sense of déjá-vu. In short, natural disasters have been with us for a long time, and they continue to be a fact of life on Earth, albeit with increasing strength and frequency due to man-induced disruptions to the atmosphere.

Whilst we are all caught up with Covid-19, the threat of climate change continues to loom large.

The Covid vaccine has shown that humans are very capable of adapting to crisis and responding quickly to things that matter to them. It shows that we are more than able to grab the climate change bull by the horns and adapt our ways to reduce its impact. The difference is that climate change needs to become something that matters to those with pockets deep enough to fund activities.

In funding climate change, however, it is necessary to examine the rationale behind the funding. People have always lived with natural disasters: why not allow them to tap into those life lessons and help them to help themselves? It is pointless to give tremendous amounts of money to a renewable energy movement, for example, that still requires ongoing capital investments, when there may be vastly cheaper forms of renewable energy that Indigenous people know how to access. Why not fund Indigenous groups to expand their wisdom and knowledge to share with the rest of the world? In this way, the actions we take are not only comprehensible to the people they are targeted at but are also sustainable.

Read the full article about funding climate change resilience by Keratiloe Mogotsi at Alliance Magazine.