Dr. Yin Lun attended the International Indigenous Caucus Consultation Meeting

Dr. Yin Lun attended the International Indigenous Caucus Consultation Meeting

On April 14, 2021, Dr. Yin Lun attended the International Indigenous Caucus Consultation Meeting. The meeting was organized by the Risk Research-Agenda Development Group, The Agenda is co-sponsored by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the International Science Council (ISC) and the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR).

At the meeting, Dr. Yin Lun put forward suggestions and opinions on the Research Priority Areas within the New Agenda. Dr. Yin Lun believes that for the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs), compare with the externally driven disaster risks reduction and mitigation strategies, they are more willing to take the community-based strategies and plans, because such plans will enable them to apply their traditional knowledge according to the geographical location and environment of their areas, so that their actions to reduce disaster risks and adapt to climate change will more effective. In the process of reducing disaster risk and coping with climate change, Indigenous sciences (traditional knowledge) and Westerns science (scientific knowledge) should be brought together within the new risk science agenda. The effective integrating of the two knowledge systems can make up for their shortcomings, so that the decision-making and action of disaster risk and climate change can be based on the “best available knowledge”. However, the prerequisite for such integrating is “respect”, that is to understand the traditional knowledge of indigenous people and local communities in a comprehensive and mutually respectful way. Considerable efforts and originality should be made, interdisciplinary collaboration should be carried out, and new measurement standards should be developed. To apply traditional knowledge into relevant research priorities at the international and national levels, we should first recognize the value of traditional knowledge, the role of traditional knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction, and the ability of traditional knowledge to reduce vulnerability in the face of extreme climate and other pressures, so as to enhance the resilience of indigenous people and local communities. Indigenous sciences or Traditional knowledge is not only a subordinate position, but also an equal position with scientific knowledge.

On the commencement of the first phase of the IRDR (2010-2020, extended to 2021), a science plan was developed to guide the work of the program. As this plan is nearing the end of its intended life, a process was developed to revise and update the plan in developing a DRR research agenda. At the outset, it was decided to expand the process beyond the traditional DRR community, to address changes since 2010, including the broadened scope of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and related risk and resilience discussions under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Climate Agreement and other 2030 agreements. Ensuring Indigenous science voices and worldviews equity within discussions, as well as the agency and avenues through which to influence the outcomes of the Agenda, have been identified as pivotal to the process.

In general, the paradigm of DRR has remained ‘science focused’, with emphasis retained on prescriptive ideas of decision-making premised on rational rules and rigorous scientific knowledge, despite the intrinsic linkages to the power structures of dominant culture and knowledge systems. This is the point at which this dialogue begins. It is increasingly recognised that the role of science and all forms of science and bodies of knowledge are ever more crucial for supporting sound decision-making. Hence, it is vital that Indigenous scientists who bring an emic understanding to bridging diverse epistemological stances on science and knowledge cultures, help shape the development of the Agenda and its future implementation.