The namele mechanism: a methodological tool to assist climate adaptation

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There is a need for guiding mechanisms that bridge the gaps between legislation, principles, conventions, protocols and their ‘on ground’ application, particularly in the context of climate change imperatives. A new tool for environmental law is proposed, the Namele Mechanism, which has been developed to guide processes of adaptive co-management. It has been built on the platforms of the knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities, particularly those from Vanuatu in the South Pacific , where systems of traditional customary law remain in practice. Simultaneously this mechanism recognises the significance of integrating contemporary management practices, including science and technology, with customary law and historic practices. The introduction of such a mechanism is supported through existing protocols and instruments such as, the Nagoya Protocol, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Namele Mechanism promises to assist in strengthening the delivery of environmental management approaches that are bespoke to specific places and communities, while assisting in the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. The application of the Mechanism will aid indigenous peoples and local communities as they adapt to changing environmental conditions, particularly those imposed by global warming. It builds on the growing global momentum of integrating and honouring traditions and customs, in addressing contemporary environmental challenges. The adoption of a new adaptive-co-management mechanism will provide an operative tool that will enhance responses to the impacts of climate change through a ‘bottom-up’ approach focused on local communities protecting the local ecosystems where they live.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-120
Number of pages30
JournalJindal Global Law Review
Issue number1
Early online date15 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • adaptive co-management
  • legal mechanisms
  • indigenous peoples
  • local communities
  • climate change
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • adaptation
  • hybrid governance
  • environmental law
  • First Peoples
  • customary law


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