To what extent, the symbiotic relation between relatively isolated indigenous people and their environment has been affected due to climate change? Analyze citing reasons with suitable examples.

Published: February 10, 2018

Indigenous populations are the ethnic tribes who are the original inhabitants of the region in contrast to groups who have settled occupied or colonised area in later times. Relatively isolated indigenous population have a symbiotic relationship with the environment. This symbiotic relationship is affected due to climate change because

  • Environmental deterioration: The environmental deterioration has impacted the livelihood opportunities. Hence there access to livelihood is affected. This has made them more vulnerable. Ex: Chenchus of Andra Pradesh who are hunting gathering tribes are forced to adopt other livelihood opportunities.
  • Health Concerns: Indigenous people are largely dependent on traditional system of medicine. The adverse impact on health together with lack of access to modern medical facilities has deteriorated their health.
  • Adverse impact due to conservation effects: The renewed attention towards environmental protection due to climate change has impacted their economy which was based on shifting culture, hunting gathering and nomadism. This is adversely affecting their socio-economic environment and psychology.
  • Depopulation of tribes: The indigenous populations are the most vulnerable and lack of access for the remedial measures has resulted in depopulation and may are in the verge of extinction ex: Jarwa of Andaman.
  • Socio-cultural impact: The indigenous populations are forced out of their habitat and are seeking refuge in the mainstream world. This sudden change in socio-cultural environment is resulting in psychological imbalances.

Indigenous populations are most vulnerable towards climate change. The humanity has responsibility to protect the indigenous populations from the ire of climate change. 

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