As we are beginning to learn more about the #Covid_19 crisis and its connection to the environment around us, we can see more clearly than ever the devastating impact that environmental degradation has on #indigenous communities and their ways of life.

đź“· Geof Wilson/Flickr
#Vanuatu is a tropical island which is particularly vulnerable to the effects of #climatechange such as rising sea levels, warming ocean temperatures and increasingly destructive cyclones, despite their largely self-sustaining lifestyles, and low emissions of #fossilfuels.
#Vanuatu is believed to be the most linguistically diverse country on earth, being home to over 100 #indigenous languages. The abundant resources have enabled many relatively isolated indigenous communities to thrive for centuries.
Yet, as some coastal areas become uninhabitable due to the exacerbating effects of #climatechange, their local languages are under threat through their necessity to relocate and integrate into new communities.
Not only are these local #languages a vital aspect of the cultural identity of these communities, they are also necessary for the retention of #indigenous knowledge about the natural world.
The dozens of types of vines on #Malakula island, for example, have names in the local Na’ahai language and likely not in any other.
This is just one example of the vitality of linguistic diversity in being able to access vast #indigenous knowledge about the #environment, which is fundamental to the fight for our #planet!
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