We haven’t had an update on the CRITICAL projects for a while but we will post some updates. CRITICAL phase 2 has now finished and the team have worked so hard to create some amazing change in South Africa, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

We had two projects running, one called CRITICAL Food based in South Africa and one called CRITICAL Nature based in both Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

So far, through a collaborative partnership between University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Pretoria (South Africa), Gadjah Mada (Indonesia) and the then independent Sri Lankan researcher Dr Karunarathna (now University of Victoria) CRITICAL (2020-22) delivered: a review of research knowledge on heritage-climate-risk nexus (Crowley et al. 2022); raised awareness of neglected heritage in select sites across Indonesia, Sri Lanka and South Africa; and gathered risk narratives.

CRITICAL identified that marginalised people (rural women and urban poor respectively) held a wealth of environmental knowledge and although these fed CRITICAL risk narratives, this knowledge is being lost at an alarming rate. This is due to a legacy of colonialization, lack of intergenerational knowledge exchange (KE), gender inequality and a lack of political voice and influence. CRITICAL Nature and Food (phase 2) focused on action and aimed to capture, share and start the process of protecting IKS that in turn enables improved gender equality, highlights climate justice, and supports place‐based and Indigenous nature-based solutions (NBS) for adaptation and mitigation at a local level. Local level engagement has been the focus CRITICAL since 2020. CRITICAL has produced various outputs including an e-learning course, film documentaries, various reports and local level community toolkits.

We will share these here and we are now applying for further funds to update our e-learning course and bring our research community to share learning for national and international policy change.