Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim advocates for greater inclusion of Indigenous peoples – and their traditional knowledge – in the global climate movement. A member of the Mbororo nomadic and semi-nomadic people, she leads the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad. Climate change has created a dire situation for Ibrahim’s people and communities throughout Chad. Lake Chad, a water source for 40 million people, has lost 90% of its surface area in just 40 years. As conflict increases among groups competing for this essential resource, Ibrahim began the first major dialogue among the area’s numerous cultures and communities. Together, they are creating a 3D map of the environmentally fragile region to inform conservation and resource management while promoting security.
“When we talk about climate impact in other places, people get solutions coming from outside,” Ibrahim said. “This place is landlocked. The only solution we have is the one we are building.”
Over the last decade, she has worked with Indigenous communities at the local, regional and international level to give a voice to those who are never heard and to make governments and the private sector listen. Given her position on the front line of the climate-change battle, her work has received extensive recognition. She is a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador, a member of the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, and a member of the Key Advisory Committee to the Secretary General for the 2019 Climate Action Summit. She was recently short listed for the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award and listed as one of 15 women leading the fight against climate change in Time Magazine. She is proud to be a Conservation International Senior Indigenous Fellow and National Geographic Emerging Explorer.