SEACHA at COP28: “Ancestral Wisdom Driving Low Carbon, Climate Resilience Futures: Asia-Pacific and Global Lessons”

The Global Stocktake synthesis report released by the UNFCCC in September found that the world is not on track to meet the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. To strengthen the global response, it said, governments need to support “systems transformations;” “whole-of-society approaches,” “integrated, inclusive policymaking” and immediately strengthen “social” enabling conditions while “finding creative ways to overcome “social and capacity barriers” and “siloed responses.”  And yet, while the GST goes on to extensively discuss other enabling conditions (finance, technology), it rarely returns to the social enabling condition nor does it meaningfully address the role of culture or heritage.

This session starts from the perspective that the GST has missed the crucial idea that shortfalls in achieving both the mitigation and the adaptation goals of the Paris Agreement are attributable, in part, to the fact that current climate modelling, action, policy, and science tends to exclude systemic, uncertain, or contested aspects—often those relating to cultural, historical, and ethical matters.  Attention to these dimensions alongside technological and financial approaches are needed to support transformative change.

It posits that ancestral wisdom and traditional knowledge that pre-date the era of fossil fuels and extractive land-use, can point the way to regenerative, post carbon living. The worldviews and cosmovisions of Indigenous Peoples’ and communities that were never co-opted by modern take-make-waste approaches provide a counterpoint to unsustainable paradigms of “progress.” These values, driven by creative, artistic and imaginative tools, can support a profound re-examination of inherited mindsets, and shape sustainable lifestyles, tastes and consumption patterns.

It also recognises that learning from ancestral wisdom starts with respecting the rights of the Peoples and communities that have sustained that wisdom and ensuring sufficient legal and financial support for their customary laws and governance system as well as cultural rights.



Princess Dana Firas


Dr. Johannes Widodo


Dr. Lucy Mulenkei


Dr. Rosario Carmona


Ms. Archie Rosie Paul


Mr. Marlon M. Martin



H.E. Salem Bin Khalid al Qassimi



Andrew Potts


Moe Moe Lwin

Watch the full presentations from “Ancestral Wisdom Driving Low Carbon, Climate Resilience Futures: Asia Pacific and Global Lessons” in the UN Climate Change – Events YouTube live recording provided below.

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