Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
|Born||1984 (age 34–35)|
|Organization||Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT)|
|Board member of||International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change|
Pan-African Alliance Climate Justice (PACJA)
Policy Board United Nations: Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP)
Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC)
|Awards||National Geographic Emerging Explorer|
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is an environmental activist and geographer. She is the Coordinator of the Association of Peul Women and Autochthonous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) and served as the co-director of the pavilion of the World Indigenous Peoples’ Initiative and Pavilion at COP21, COP22 and COP23.
Activism and advocacy
Ibrahim is an environmental activist working on behalf of her people, the Mbororo in Chad. She was educated in Chad's capital city of N'Djamena and spent her holidays with the indigenous Mbororo people, who are traditionally nomadic farmers, herding and tending cattle. During the course of her education, she became aware of the ways in which she was discriminated against as an indigenous woman and also of the ways in which her Mbororo counterparts were excluded from the educational opportunities she received. So in 1999, she founded the Association of Indigenous Peul Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), a community-based organization focused on promoting the rights of girls and women in the Mbororo community and inspiring leadership and advocacy in environmental protection. The organization received its operating license in 2005 and has since participated in international negotiations on climate, sustainable development, biodiversity, and environmental protection.
Her focus on environmental advocacy stemmed from her firsthand experience of the effects of global climate change on the Mbororo community, who rely on natural resources for their own survival and for the survival of the animals they care for. For years, they have been experiencing the effects of Lake Chad drying up; the lake is a vital source of water for people from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, and is now 10% of its size from the 1960s. In a written testimony to the International Organization for Migration, Ibrahim emphasized that her people, and indigenous communities like her own, are "direct victims of climate change," which has worked to displace them, forcing them to abandon their own lands in search of ones that can sustain their way of life. In that testimony, she also spoke of the consequences of climate change migration, which disproportionately leaves migrant communities vulnerable.
Ibrahim has written on the importance of recognizing indigenous people's rights when crafting global climate change for a variety of outlets, including Quartz and the World Economic Forum's Agenda. Of particular concern to Ibrahim is the legal right of indigenous peoples to own and manage the lands where they live. Such legal rights guarantee that indigenous community have legal agency in economic developments that might displace them, such as oil drilling projects, mining, and hydropower plants.
Ibrahim has worked collaboratively with UNESCO and the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) on a project to 3D map Chad's Sahel desert region, where 250,000 Mbororos currently live, relying on subsistence farming. The project combined 3D mapping technologies with indigenous scientific knowledge to develop a tool to sustainably manage the environment and empower indigenous voices—particularly those of women—to make decisions on planning for a future of climate adaptation and mitigation. In an interview with BBC for BBC's 100 Women project, Ibrahim noted: "Every culture has a science. So it's really important for the indigenous voice to be there."
In 2016, Ibrahim was selected to represent civil society at the signing of the historic Paris Climate Agreement on April 22, 2016. In her statement at the signing, she noted: "Climate change is adding poverty to poverty every day, forcing many to leave home for a better future."
Ibrahim serves in a number of leadership capacities advocating for the importance of indigenous knowledge in mitigating the effects of climate change. She is co-Chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, representing the group at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and of the Pan-African Alliance Climate Justice (PACJA), where she also acts as the chair of recruitment. She is also a member of the Policy Board United Nations: Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP) and of the Executive Committee for the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC).
Awards and honors
In 2017, Ibrahim was recognized as a National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer, a program that recognizes and supports outstanding scientists, conservationists, storytellers, and innovators. In 2017, she was also featured as part of the BBC's 100 Women project, recognizing 100 influential and inspiring women every year. In 2018, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.
- Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim (2019). "Chapter 7: Indigenous people and the fight for survival". In Extinction Rebellion (ed.). This Is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook. Penguin Books. pp. 54–57. ISBN 9780141991443.
- "National Geographic Emerging Explorer Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim Raising the Voice of Indigenous Climate Knowledge – National Geographic Blog". blog.nationalgeographic.org. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "Nos membres – AFPAT". www.afpat.net. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim: Bridging worlds through environmental activism - Landscape News". Landscape News. 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "AFPAT Tchad | Réseau climat et developpement". climatdeveloppement.org (in French). Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "Why is one of the world's largest lakes disappearing?". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- Ibrahim, Hindu Oumarou (2012). International Dialogue on Migration: Climate Change, Environmental Degradation, and Migration (PDF) (Report). 18. International Organization for Migration. pp. 51–53. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
- "Global climate-change policy must recognize indigenous rights — Quartz". qz.com. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "Why indigenous people are key to protecting our forests". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim and Lene Kielsen Holm talk Paris COP21". Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- Halton, Mary (2017-11-07). "The women championing their scientific ancestors". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim urges more rights for indigenous people to benefit landscapes - Landscape News". Landscape News. 2018-01-13. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "Indigenous Mbororo woman from Chad to speak alongside world leaders at Paris Agreement signing ceremony at UN on 22 April". www.un.org. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- McGrath, Matt (2016-04-22). "Nations sign historic Paris climate deal". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- National Geographic Society. "2017 Emerging Explorers". www.nationalgeographic.org. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
- "BBC 100 Women 2018: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2019.