Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Environmental Management and Climate Change

Indigenous knowledge systems includes value and belief systems and underlines the symbiotic relationship between indigenous communities and their natural environment.  The CIKS recognises the role played by Indigenous ways of knowing and value systems in environmental management and biodiversity conservation  as reflected in their cultural beliefs and practices (e.g.: role of ancestral spirits, taboos and totems).

The impact of climate change on environment and biodiversity through the loss of biological species and knowledge systems is a significant challenge. The CIKS promotes the holistic approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation by realising the symbiotic relationship between human livelihood and the natural environment, including the spiritual world. These community-based knowledge systems need to be taken seriously in the design and adaptation of modern mitigation and adaptation policy strategies.

The CIKS partner institutions in collaboration with community knowledge holders and other stakeholders from within and outside South Africa are active in research and human capital development to promote IKS associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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