In a world experiencing a climate crisis, adaptation becomes a pressing need for the survival of communities and the preservation of ecosystems. In this context, indigenous women emerge as key actors in the construction of Nature-based Solutions and ancestral heritage. The Chaco region in Paraguay concentrates almost half of the country’s indigenous population, who live mainly from subsistence agriculture, simple livestock systems, non-timber products, beekeeping and small-scale hunting. The poor quantity, quality and continuity of water is a limiting factor for the well-being of these communities and the development of their livelihoods.

One of the fundamental pillars of indigenous ecological management is the spiritual connection with nature. As part of the vision of the indigenous communities of Chaco, ecosystems are considered to house spirits that can influence the local climate. Indigenous women, as caretakers of culture and spirituality, play an essential role in preserving these beliefs and promoting ecosystem conservation. Their leadership in ceremonial activities and the transmission of these practices to new generations strengthens the link between spirituality and the sustainable management of ecosystems.

Indigenous communities often have their own governance structures that facilitate local responses to climate change. Indigenous women, as an integral part of these structures, can play significant roles in decision-making related to ecosystem management and climate adaptation. Their traditional knowledge and understanding of local dynamics are valuable resources for developing effective EbA strategies.

It is of utmost importance to integrate indigenous traditional knowledge (ITC) in Ecosystem-based Adaptation. It is not simply about incorporating local environmental information into Western science, but rather understanding that ITC encompasses natural resource management, sociocultural structures, social norms, spiritual beliefs and historical experiences. Indigenous women, as guardians of this cultural wealth, are crucial for the effective implementation of EbA projects that respect and value this knowledge.

Indigenous women also play a leading role in preserving cultural values that drive adaptation to climate change. These values, such as reciprocity, collectivity, balance and solidarity, have proven to be fundamental in existing adaptation strategies, such as agrobiodiversity conservation and livelihood diversification. Indigenous women, as bearers of these values, can lead the promotion of practices that strengthen the resilience of their communities.

The EbA Chaco project works in collaboration with indigenous communities of the Paraguayan Chaco to reduce food vulnerability to the impacts of climate change through Ecosystem-based Adaptation. The project promotes the active participation of indigenous women and seeks to integrate traditional knowledge into effective adaptation strategies. In addition, it encourages the preservation of cultural values and relies on local governance structures that support adaptation to climate change in this region.

In conclusion, indigenous women are active agents in building resilience in the Paraguayan Chaco. Recognizing their contributions and actively supporting them is essential to achieve an effective adaptation in harmony with the natural and cultural context.


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  • Data from Griffith University Provide New Insights into Climatology (The Role of Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge in Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: A Review of the Literature and Case Studies from the Pacific Islands). (2018, November 2). Science Letter, 715.
  • Indigenous Knowledge For Climate Adaptation. (2023, July 13). Rising Nepal, NA.
  • Walshe, R., & Argumedo, A. (2016). Ayni, ayllu, yanantin and chanincha: the cultural values enabling adaptation to climate change in communities of the Potato Park, in the Peruvian Andes. GAIA – Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society, 25(3), 166+.
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