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POLARPROG-Polarforskningsprogram

Future Arctic livelihoods and biodiversity in a changing climate

Alternative title: Framtidas arktiske levemåte og biodiversitet i et klima i endring

Awarded: NOK 3.3 mill.

The Arctic is experiencing exceptional decline of sea ice and increasingly unpredictable weather on land. These large-scale ecological and biodiversity changes undermine established production patterns of hunting, fishing, gathering and herding by rural and indigenous communities. These changes occur in a context of far-ranging economic, cultural and political change and commercial interests focusing on the same areas. FutureArcticLives' main question is: What are the likely future impacts and adaptation possibilities for small-scale primary resource users in the Arctic in the face of climate and biodiversity change? Our focus is on traditional Inuit hunters and small-scale fishers in Greenland, Saami reindeer herders and small-scale fishers in northern Norway and Sweden, whose activities are set within the context of broader interests and commercial operations. Hence, the project will address biodiversity change as a consequence of climate change and the implications for rural and indigenous populations relying on natures' contributions. The contributions range from terrestrial and marine hunting and whaling and small scale coastal fishing to reindeer husbandry in the boreal forest and taiga. The project will also address policy and legal studies at the international, EU, and national levels. To this end, interviews and a survey directed at reindeer herders in Norway and Sweden will be combined with existing register data. For the work package focussing on the Porsanger fjord in Finnmark, visual methods and map biographies will be utilised as a way to narrate impacts of change on livelihoods and wellbeings. An analysis of current and potential harvest control rules in the small-scale fishery will be developed to formulate possible alternatives for mitigating biodiversity change. The visual and map narratives (StoryMaps) and ecosystem management analysis will be discussed with relevant policy makers.

Recent years, the Arctic has experienced exceptional decline of sea ice and increasingly unpredictable weather on land causing rapid large-scale ecological and biodiversity changes undermining established production patterns of hunting, fishing, gathering and herding by rural and indigenous communities. These changes occur in a context of far-ranging economic, cultural and political change and commercial interests focusing on the same areas. FutureArcticLives' main is question: What are the likely future impacts and adaptation possibilities for small-scale primary resource users in Greenland and Northern Sweden and Norway in the face of climate and biodiversity change? Focus is on traditional Inuit hunters and small-scale fishers in Greenland, Saami reindeer herders in northern Sweden and Norway and the coastal Saami in the Porsanger Fjord in Norway, but in the context of broader interests and commercial operations. Hence, the project will address biodiversity change as a consequence of climate change and the implications for rural and indigenous populations relying on natures contribution from terrestrial and marine hunting and whaling and small scale coastal fishing to reindeer husbandry in boreal forest and taiga. The project will address policy and legal studies at the international, EU, and national legal and policy context. To this end, the project will conduct key stakeholder interviews and do questionnaire surveys to collect new data and combine this with existing register data in ways not previously attempted to produce new data sets. The analysis will assess and attempt to validate resource user observations and local knowledge as a means to enable predictions of biodiversity trends and develop a community-based monitoring system. Time-space models and future scenario simulations will be developed to evaluate welfare consequences in scenarios of future biodiversity change and new income sources.

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Funding scheme:

POLARPROG-Polarforskningsprogram