Attend a climate related lecture by Dr. Karim-Aly S. Kassam,
Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources,
TITLE: A Methodology of Hope to the Challenge of Climate Change: The Role of Ecological Calendars
Why is a methodology of hope relevant to climate change research among indigenous and rural communities? Indigenous and rural societies that have not contributed to anthropogenic climate change are at its vanguard. Thereby, exacerbating existing inequities and increasing anxiety about livelihood and food systems. The impact of the Anthropocene is not only uneven, it is unjust because its origin coincides with the height of colonization of human communities by the military and economic might of industrial nations. The legacy effects of this paradigm of short-term gain for a small portion of humanity continues to reverberate and resonate today with dire environmental and social consequences. The immediate impact can be seen on food systems of indigenous and rural communities. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 70–80 percent of the world’s food is produced by family farms, namely by small (<2 ha) land-holders. While more recent studies suggest that these numbers may be inflated, there is no question that at the emergence of the third millennium, ecological professions such as farmers, fishers, herders, hunters, orchardists, and so on in indigenous and rural societies are central to regional food systems. Disruption and anxiety caused by anthropogenic climate change not only affects their wellbeing, but also the food security of larger urban populations. Our research proposes a methodology of hope using ecological calendars to anticipate the impacts of climate change on indigenous and rural livelihoods and food systems. Building anticipatory capacity – being able to visualize diverse futures – is at the core of being able to address the anxieties caused by an unpredictable changing climate. Grounded in the local ecology and culture, these calendars represent an effective adaptive response to climatic variations resulting from the Anthropocene.