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Weaving Traditional Knowledge into the Decarbonisation Model

On a planetary scale, the biophysical properties of vegetation regulate the hydrological cycle (Te Hurihanga Wai), and climate. If we are to stabilise our climate we will need climate models which go beyond individual variables to include relationships. And these climate models exist within indigenous peoples', traditional knowledge, innovations and practices.

Through my consultancy work, over the past ten years, I have had the privilege of supporting indigenous communities in Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Guatemala, Tuvalu, and more recently Amazonia; to develop bio-cultural indicators to measure, report on and manage their forests, waters and atmosphere.

Bridging indigenous wisdom into de-carbonisation decision-making, includes intricate patterns and relationships of, atmospheric convergence (Tawhirimatea me Hine Moana), terrestrial moisture recycling (Tane te Waiora & Hinetuparimaunga), water filtration (Rakahore & Hineukurangi), freshwater plumes & ocean salinity (Parawhenuamea & Kiwa), and morning soil moisture effects on the days precipitation (Hinepukohurangi & Hine Te Ihorangi). To name a few.

Maramataka alone is a mix of meteorology, astronomy and astrology. Rooted in place, maramataka encourages the deepening of our understanding of the systems and cycles of our world. For indigenous peoples, the rhythms of life, of navigation, fishing, gardening, weaving, and medicine; are guided by the days of the moon, the configuration of the celestial beings and seasonal weather patterns.

The road ahead will be challenging, but with openness and aroha, it also has the potential for reconnection to one-self and the universe.

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