New York City 2019
The Tracking Change research program has developed over the last four years to advance knowledge through community-university research activities in the Mackenzie River Basin with emerging projects in the Lower Mekong River Basin (Mun River) and in the lower Amazon Basin (Tapajos River).
Because of the uncertainty of the political environment in Brazil in 2019, a decision was made to find an alternate location for the second Global Knowledge Symposium. An opportunity arose to hold our meetings in conjunction with the Eighteenth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFOII) at the UN Headquarters in New York City from April 22nd to May 3rd, 2019. The theme of the 2019 UN PFOII was “Traditional Knowledge: Generation, Transmission, and Protection,” to which our work was perfectly suited.
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is a high-level advisory body to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Forum was established on 28 July 2000 by resolution 2000/22, with the mandate to deal with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health, and human rights. More specifically, the Permanent Forum: provides expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the Council, as well as to programs, funds, and agencies of the United Nations, through ECOSOC; raises awareness and promotes the integration and coordination of activities related to indigenous issues within the UN system; prepares and disseminates information on indigenous issues; and, promotes respect for and full application of the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration (Art. 42 UNDRIP). Each year since 2002, the Forum has met for ten days at the UN Headquarters in New York City where Forum members and delegates of Indigenous Peoples Organizations from across the globe gather to raise awareness and increase outreach on Indigenous issues and make recommendations to ECOSOC.
The Tracking Change Global Knowledge Symposium
This event marked the mid-point of the Tracking Change project and aimed to:
- Create opportunities for Indigenous community participants from diverse river basins to share their own local and traditional knowledge about social-ecological change, and develop a better understanding of its significance at global scales;
- Develop a deeper understanding of the knowledge, practices, and beliefs of Indigenous fishers through place-based learning activities;
- Identify and advance theories and conceptual frameworks that can help explain trends and patterns in the livelihoods of fishing communities in the Mackenzie–Mekong–Amazon;
- Strengthen research collaboration between graduate students, junior and senior faculty, and community knowledge holders (fishers) and partners from Canada, Thailand, and Brazil;
- Build global academic-community-policy networks that can affect change in the governance of the Mackenzie-Mekong-Amazon;
- Catalyze critical thinking about the methodological best-practice for studying and communicating about fisher knowledge and practices;
- Advance community reporting and academic publication through knowledge mobilization exercises.
Participants of the Symposium were able to meet with other academic and community researchers and share their research related to fishing livelihoods by making a formal presentation. They each had an opportunity to participate in group thinking activities and to network with attendees of the PFOII at the United Nations.
The Tracking Change project team, along with researchers and representatives from projects across the Mackenzie, Mekong, and Amazon basins attended parts of the 18th Session of the UNPFII to showcase the progress, results, and plans of their work over the past four years. The goal was to increase the project’s profile, network with key influencers, and establish connections with other Indigenous communities, organizations, and researchers from other parts of the world to share stories and create hope. Several delegates contributed to various UN sessions, in addition to presenting at Tracking Change organized side events.
Tracking Change UNPFII Side Event
Taking place at the same time, and in the margins of, the UNPFII18, the Tracking Change Global Knowledge Symposium brought together academic and community researchers from across three countries, seven academic institutions, and sixty local and Indigenous communities and organizations. Three special events were hosted.
TRACKING CHANGE: LOCAL AND TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE IN THE MACKENZIE, MEKONG, AND AMAZON
30 April 2019, 1:15 – 2:30pm; United Nations Headquarters, Conference Rm 7
A forum on the impact of development and climate change on the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples in the Mekong, Mackenzie, and Amazon basins
TRACKING CHANGE – STORIES OF CHANGE
2 May 2019, 2:00 – 5:00pm Church of the Covenant; 310 E 42nd Street, NY
Tracking Change project participants and champions met to share research results, discuss good practice, and plan a path for ongoing research. Interested attendees of the UNPFII18, and others, were invited to learn more about our project, share stories, exchange ideas and plans for the future. Student poster presentations were included.
TAR SANDS SONGBOOK
2 May 2019, 6:30 – 8:30pm, Church of the Covenant; 310 E 42nd Street, NY
Tracking Change hosted a unique documentary play, with music, about our complex and sometimes unseen relationship with oil. The Tar Sands Songbook was brought to us by Tanya Kalmanovitch with accompaniment by Andrew Boudreau. After the performance, Tanya Kalmanovitch held a discussion about the relationship between oil and Tar Sands, about the piece itself, and her own personal experience.
Schedule: including presentations made by Tracking Change delegates at UN sessions