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Science Policy Interface

The last few decades has seen a shift in the relationship between science and other systems of knowledge, reflected in the explicit recognition of indigenous knowledge in many global environmental governance fora. UNESCO, through its LINKS programme, has been influential in ensuring that local and indigenous knowledge holders and their knowledge are included in contemporary science-policy-society fora on issues such as biodiversity assessment and management (CBD, IPBES), climate change assessment and adaptation (IPCC, UNFCCC), natural disaster preparedness (ISDR) and sustainable development (Rio+20, Future Earth).

Priority Areas

Indigenous knowledge within the framework of IPBES

As the Technical Support Unit (TSU) for the IPBES Task Force on Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems (ILK), LINKS supports the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to recognize and respect the contribution of indigenous and local knowledge to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Indigenous knowledge, international climate change science and policy

LINKS activities support international processes that consider issues related to indigenous knowledge and climate change assessment and adaptation. More information on our work in this area can be found here.

Indicators for status and trends in indigenous knowledge

Through the LINKS programme, UNESCO provides information to the CBD on linguistic diversity, including the status and trends of speakers of indigenous languages. Data and analysis on linguistic diversity provides one of three proxy indicators for monitoring status and trends of traditional knowledge. 

Indigenous knowledge and the interface with the global science agenda

Since the 1999 World Conference of Science, the LINKS programme has worked in collaboration with the global science community towards support for a new and complementary relationship between science and other knowledge systems.

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