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Last updateThu, 21 Nov 2019 12am







    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-2:50:40A.M.






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Indigenous group seeks partnership with scientists

THE indigenous delegates of OceanObs’19 are calling on the ocean-observing community to establish a partnership worldwide with indigenous people “who have real experience in governance of natural resources.”

OceanObs’19 or Ocean Observation is a decadal conference series for the ocean-observing community, including scientists and end users. The conference was held in Hawaii on Sept. 16-20.

Cecilio Raiukiulipiy

Master navigator and traditional navigation teacher Cecilio Raiukiulipiy represented the CNMI in the conference.

He said various indigenous groups from all over the world, including Alaska and Canada, participated in the conference.

Raiukiulipiy said the delegates signed a declaration calling on “the observing community to establish meaningful partnerships with indigenous communities, organizations, and nations to learn and respect each other’s ways of knowing; negotiate paths forward to design, develop, and carry out ocean-observing initiatives; and share responsibility and resources.”

In an interview, Raiukiulipiy said “every year, we have research vessels coming to our water, but we don’t see the data. We are hoping we can work together and that they will share important data with us. In order for us to respect our resources, we need to understand our resources.”

He said the OceanObs’19 declaration aims to “level the playing field” for the indigenous people.

“The scientists have master’s degrees or doctorates, but our knowledge is based on reality, on observation and experience. We are asking the scientists to recognize our knowledge,” he added.

A copy of the OceanObs’19 declaration was submitted to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which will present it to the United Nations.

Raiukiulipiy hopes that the U.N. will come out with recommendations on how indigenous people and scientists can work together.