Special Issue Call for Papers: Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change

The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (n.d.) has asserted:

Indigenous peoples are among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change, owing to their dependence upon, and close relationship with the environment and its resources. Climate change exacerbates the difficulties already faced by vulnerable Indigenous communities, including political and economic marginalization, loss of land and resources, human rights violations, discrimination and unemployment. (para. 2)

The UN further emphasized that Indigenous Peoples who choose to or are forced to leave their traditional territories because of the effects of climate change or activities that contribute to it face additional disadvantages and vulnerabilities associated with displacement.

The IIPJ has asserted that effectively addressing the effects of climate change will involve building the adaptive capacity of Indigenous communities in ways that also support self-determination and self-governance, reduce inequalities, and honor and respect traditional knowledge and culture.

Given their special relationship to the land, Indigenous Peoples offer unique perspectives on how to address climate change and how to prepare for and deal with the changes that are already occurring. Indigenous Peoples have long histories of living in harmony with the natural world and in responding to threats in ways that enhance the resilience of ecosystems. Their traditional knowledge and technologies offer solutions that are specifically adapted to the environments in which they live. However, despite international agreements, such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, that affirm the right of Indigenous Peoples to participate in decision making processes that affect their people and communities, they continue to experience barriers and resistance to their views and understandings.

IIPJ welcomes editorial, research, policy, and book review submissions that focus on any aspect of climate change as it relates to Indigenous Peoples and that has international policy relevance. Articles can focus on a specific Indigenous group or community, region, country, or make international comparisons. They must include policy recommendations or lessons learned that are of relevance to Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • How is climate change affecting Indigenous Peoples and communities?
  • How have Indigenous Peoples’ responded or adapted to climate change?
  • What can traditional Indigenous knowledge teach us about changing our approach to human activity and environmental stewardship in order to reduce the severity of climate change?
  • What are the barriers to Indigenous Peoples fully participating in policy processes related to climate change? How can these barriers be addressed?

The deadline for submissions is January 29, 2018. All submissions will be peer-reviewed.

The special issue will be published in the fall (Northern Hemisphere) of 2018.

Submission guidelines can be found in our Author Guide


United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. (n.d.). Climate change and Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved from www.un.org/en/events/indigenousday/pdf/Backgrounder_ClimateChange_FINAL.pdf