International Network of
Mountain Indigenous People (INMIP):
International Learning Exchange in Tajikistan
widespread reliance on natural resources and ecosystems, indigenous mountain
communities are especially vulnerable to, and disproportionality impacted by,
climate change. Many mountain communities have experienced continuous and
severe impacts on their ecosystems due to the climate change-induced
temperature rises in higher altitudes. Because of this, these communities play a
critical role in climate change adaptation. The communities process rich
Biocultural heritage – historical knowledge about local ecosystems, traditional
farming practices that conserve natural resources, traditional crop varieties
adapted to a range of conditions, and cultural and spiritual values which
promote equilibrium with nature and social equity -- to produce methods and
strategies for climate change adaptation.
In 2014, 25
indigenous mountain communities from 10 different countries met in Bhutan and
participated in the Mountain Communities Initiative Workshop. These communities
which included farmers and organizations from Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines,
Peru, Taiwan, Tajikistan and Thailand came together and discussed the impacts of climate change and exchanged
adaptation methods based on Biocultural heritage information, as well as local
seed systems. The workshop culminated in the establishment of the
International Network of Mountain Indigenous People (INMIP), and developed
the Bhutan Declaration on Climate Change and Mountain Indigenous People which provides the vision for INMIP. The INMIP aims to
share knowledge about climate change adaptation, exchange seeds to protect food
sovereignty, and to promote the protection of Biocultural heritage, local seed
systems and farmers’ rights.
this crucial dialogue, and in preparation for COP 21 Paris, the INMIP is
currently holding another week-long learning exchange workshop in Tajikistan
from the 11 – 18 of September. A “walking workshop” methodology will be
used throughout the week, as was used in Bhutan, where workshop discussions are
held at important sites in the community, including sacred sites, farmers’
fields and water sources, to stimulate a farmer to farmer knowledge exchange.
The workshop is being held in two contrasting mountain communities in both the
Rasht Valley (mid altitude) and the Pamirs (high altitude). General goals of
the workshop include hopes to consolidate INMIP as an international network,
deepen the knowledge exchange on the impacts of climate change on indigenous
mountain communities, and empower such communities to respond using their
Biocultural heritage. In addition, food and cultural festivals will be held in
the evenings, where communities will share their traditional foods, songs and
dances in order to learn about, bond over and celebrate the Biocultural
diversity represented at this year’s INMIP workshop in Tajikistan.
objectives of the workshop are:
- To enhance the
capacity of indigenous mountain communities to address the impacts of
climate change, as well as preserve their Biocultural heritage and local
seed systems through exchange of knowledge, seeds and tools.
- To further develop
the network objectives, structure, coordination and strategic plan.
- To generate evidence
of the impacts of climate change on mountain communities and the role of
indigenous knowledge, crops and Biocultural heritage in adaptation, in
order to inform relevant international policy processes such as the UNFCCC
and the FAO Treaty.
The Declaration calls on governments to support
adaptation based on traditional knowledge that is specific to local contexts.
It also calls for the respect of indigenous peoples’ world views and cultural
and spiritual values that are a core foundation for their adaptive capacity.