The Paris Agreement is the first climate treaty to include a reference to traditional knowledge, opening up a new legal frontier to address this complex subject in international law. Traditional knowledge has already been the subject of considerable regulatory developments in international environmental and human rights instruments. This article reflects on how these bodies of law treat traditional knowledge, with the objective of understanding what are the gaps that could and should be addressed in the context of the climate regime. The article is divided into four parts. The introduction outlines the article’s structure and methodology. Section 2 provides a definition of traditional knowledge and identifies the international law questions it raises. Section 3 analyses existing international obligations on traditional knowledge in environmental and human rights law. Section 4 considers the interplay between the climate regime and the bodies of international law analysed in Section 3. The conclusion offers some recommendations on the treatment of traditional knowledge in the climate regime.
Savaresi A (2018) Traditional knowledge and climate change: a new legal frontier?. Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, 9 (1), pp. 32-50