Environmental and Climate Justice


Promote African Indigenous peoples’ rights and participation in environmental conservation and climate justice.


Promote African Indigenous peoples’ human rights and gender equality.


Support a regional network of African indigenous peoples’ organisations that is democratic, transparent and effective.

Environmental and Climate Justice

Most of IPACC’s members are highly-dependent on natural resources. Indigenous peoples in Africa, by definition are living in sensitive ecosystems, using natural resources either for pastoralism or hunting and foraging wild foods. The degradation of Africa’s ecosystems and instability of the global climate pose serious risks to IPACC members and to Africa’s sustainability.

IPACC is engaged in a number of related projects to support indigenous peoples as holders of environmental knowledge who can help protect the environment, guide national policies and develop social and ecological resilience in the face of climate changes.

IPACC’s environmental and climate justice priorities include:

  • Promotion of indigenous knowledge systems in National Adaptation Plans;
  • Use of participatory spatial methodologies, such as Participatory 3D modelling, for indigenous peoples to study and explain their landscape management and knowledge systems;
  • Indigenous engagement in UN treaty bodies on the environment – including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Convention to Combat Desertification;
  • Conservation of African forests, including humid tropical forests as well as dryland and oasis forests – equitable participation and secure tenue of indigenous peoples reliant on forests;
  • Implementation, rights compliance and good governance of the UN CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas and the UNESCO 1972 World Heritage Convention;
  • Protection and promotion of indigenous peoples’ rights to intellectual property of genetic and natural resources

IPACC’s current priorities are on supporting an African approach to climate adaptation that draws together science, indigenous knowledge and decision-making. IPACC is working with the UNESCO Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems division and cooperates with the Least Developed Countries Expert Group at the UNFCCC. IPACC is a focal point member of the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme on vulnerability, impacts and adaptation (NWP).

IPACC is a member organisation of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). IPACC works with IUCN at national, regional and global levels to promote the rights and participation of indigenous peoples in landscape conservation and the sustainable use of nature. IPACC is particularly involved in issues of the governance of Protected Areas and World Heritage Sites.

IPACC has worked closely with the EU-ACP Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to promote the use of participatory methodologies in land mapping and modelling, GIS and related social media.

IPACC is a member of the We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice coalition.

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Indigenous Environment Defenders.

Africa’s hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist peoples have lived symbiotically and sustainably within Africa’s ecosystems for millenia. Their Traditional Knowledge Systems are treasure houses of indigenous knowledge.

Under colonialism, African hunters and nomads suffered land dispossession and cultural oppression. In the post-colonial era, they’ve advocated for their land, cultural and human rights.

Now, in this Age of Climate Change, Africa’s hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist peoples are recognised as frontline guardians and managers of African biodiversity, and provide early warning for climate change trends.

We appeal to African governments to formally recognise the Traditional Knowledge Systems and practices of hunters and nomads.


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