TED Talk of the Day #015: Indigenous wisdom should be at the heart of climate activism

Event: TEDWomen 2019
Speaker: Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Bio: Environmental activist – advocates for the inclusion of Indigenous peoples, along with their knowledge and traditions, in the global movement to fight climate change.

Many of us are talking about ills of modern society, current economic paradigms like capitalism and even some of the contemporary technologies and industries.

Maybe it is time (yet again) to revisit that our last thousand years or so of “development” led by local as well as colonial rulers has meant almost total DECIMATION of wisdom gathered by aborigines, tribes and many ancient civilizations worldwide. For example, Native / Indigenous / American Indians were made slaves, their lands confiscated and even massacred.

The story is same globally – see what we have done to our tribes in India.

Personally, I love modern technologies and my last post was about leveraging tech tools. However, I also have huge respect for our ancestors for their wisdom. Sadly, lot of that wisdom comes from people who are seen as illiterate or rural. But, why throw the baby out with the bathwater?

Why not do DEEPER study into ancient wisdom? We cannot expect multinationals to invest on this as their commercial interests might even get threatened if a cheaper alternative was found in nature. Actually, it is alleged that some lobbies make sure ancient wisdom is ridiculed (using false rationality) and even try to legally ban some practices – whereas opportunity could be to induce stricter guidelines and support them with modern research methods.

For example, most of us NEED the weather app! The speaker says:

Let me tell you, my best app is my grandmother .. (Laughter) …She’s called Mamadda. She can tell you not only today’s weather but she can predict the next 12 months, if it’s going to be a good rain season or not. She can tell you just by observing her environment, by observing the wind direction, the cloud position, the bird migration, the size of fruits, the plant flowers. She can tell you by observing the behavior of her own cattle. That’s how she knows better the weather and the ecosystem that she’s living in.


“And indigenous peoples around the world are saving 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity. That’s the scientists who say that. Indigenous peoples in the Amazon, you can find the most diverse ecosystem, better than the national park. The indigenous peoples from the Pacific, the grandma and the grandpa, they know where to get food after the hurricane hits them.”

The speaker invited scientists to look at PRACTICAL indigenous wisdom – and they were hooked and agreed to work together. She shares:

“Then they use science-based knowledge, and the community comes together, they build this map, they figure out all the knowledge that we have about where is our sacred forest, where is our water point, where is our corridor, where is the place that we move during each season.”

This is what we need – Ancient wisdom to work closely with modern technology.

A truly enlightening talk!

List of previous videos at https://sharebooks.org/category/videos/


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