When considering climate change, indigenous peoples and marginalized populations warrant particular attention. Impacts on their territories and communities are anticipated to be both early and severe due to their location in vulnerable environments, including small islands, high altitude zones, desert margins and the circumpolar Arctic. Heightened exposure to negative impacts, however, is not the only reason for specific attention and concern. As many indigenous societies are socially and culturally distinct from mainstream society, decisions, policies and actions undertaken by the major group, even if well-intended, may prove inadequate, ill-adapted and inappropriate. There is therefore a need to understand the specific vulnerabilities, concerns, adaptation capacities and longer-term aspirations of indigenous peoples and marginalized communities the world over. Indigenous and traditional knowledge contribute to this broader understanding.

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