BRICS Countries International Conference on Indigenous Knowledge Systems For Sustainable Food Security And Environmental Governance For Climate Change Adaptation (Highlights)
This first BRICS Countries International Conference on Indigenous Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Food Security and Environmental Governance for Climate Change Adaptation is in line with the local, provincial, national and multilateral imperatives of South Africa's developmental strategic priorities.
The conference realizes the significant role played by community-based knowledge systems and institutions in the livelihood of the people in the BRICS member countries. For example, the National Development Plan (NDP) in South Africa recognizes the importance of an active citizenry participation in mitigating the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment facing the country through their indigenous ways of knowing and institutions. While the BRICS member countries are diverse in their socio-economic, geo-political and cultural profiles, most of them face the common challenges of food security, environmental governance and climate change. A large proportion of the people still depend on these indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) to meet these global challenges. These aspects tend to be neglected in the search for sustainable solutions to these challenges. The involvement of local communities and their knowledge systems is an integral part of the enhancement og people's agency. This takes into consideration of the fact that people can only be mobilised and inspired to preserve and protect the environment as a home and source of livelihood on the basis of their cultural practices, value systems and indigenous institutions of relating to the environment.
The conference organizers recognize that the responsibility of preserving and protecting their environment for sustainable food security and climate change adaptation as a collective, creates a sense of security for the people and the state. The effects of environmental degradation know no boundaries in terms of climate change patterns and adverse effects. They affect everyone regardless of race, class and gender, etc. Therefore, the development of mitigation strategies requires a collective effort within and across national borders. The conference brings together development agencies, organised civicsociety, business sector, policy makers, traditional leaders and healers from within and outside the BRICS countries to share-experiences on these global challenges. The BRICS Indigenous Knowledge Systems conference will propose sustainable community-based solutions thereby adding value to the theme of the upcoming 8th BRICS Summit in Goa, India in October 2016 on "Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions".
One of the highlights of this BRICS Countries conference is that the organizers realize that the future and sustainability of IKS agenda lie with effective communication systems and a new generation of emerging researchers, scientists and youth. Therefore, in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality and South African BRICS Think Tank, a cadre of youth on social media platforms were trained to communicate on issues related to the conference themes in order to provide a global reach of the conference. The initiative serves as a model for public, private adn community partnership by equipping the youth with knowledge and skills to become effective communicators.