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JPICULTURE-Cultural heritage and global change

ResilienceS to climate risks: lessons from Arctic and Pacific communities

Alternative title: Motstandsdyktighet mot klimarisiko: erfaringer fra arktiske samfunn og stillehavssamfunn

Awarded: NOK 4.1 mill.

The RETRACE project, unfolding over three years, confronts the escalating threat of natural disasters, impacting over 2.3 billion people since the 2000s. Concentrating on communities in the Arctic and Pacific regions, like the Marquesans in French Polynesia, the Sámi and Kven in Norway, and the Ahtna in Alaska, RETRACE is dedicated to bolstering resilience against climate risks. These communities, deeply intertwined with their environments, offer invaluable insights into surviving and thriving amidst environmental adversities. RETRACE is grounded in the hypothesis that indigenous and local knowledge systems, particularly from communities in Polar and Pacific zones, are indispensable in crafting effective resilience strategies. The project's methodology involves gathering a rich dataset, encompassing testimonials, cultural practices, and lived experiences, alongside quantitative analyses. This approach aims to create a comprehensive framework that honors local contexts and promotes adaptable and inclusive resilience practices. An international team of researchers from France, Norway, and the USA brings together a diverse set of skills to bridge the gap between scientific research and the lived realities of target communities. The goal is to develop a spatial decision-support system that both aids in visualizing resilience data and serves as a tool for community-based decision-making, enhancing the ability to manage risks and leverage traditional knowledge effectively. By combining local insights with scientific innovation, RETRACE aspires to pave the way for resilience strategies that are both sustainable and sensitive to the unique needs of vulnerable communities. This project not only highlights the critical role of indigenous and local knowledge in addressing climate change but also seeks to empower communities globally to navigate the challenges posed by a changing climate landscape, offering a model for resilience that can be adapted and applied worldwide.

The three-year RETRACE project responds to the increasing impact of natural disasters on over 2.3 billion people since the beginning of the millennium. It has a particular focus on Arctic and Pacific communities vulnerable to climate risks, specifically, the Marquesan community in French Polynesia, the Sámi and Kven communities in Norway, and the Ahtna people in Alaska. The project aims to address the resilience(s) of communities, in order to develop more inclusive and equitable approaches to developing and implementing resilience strategies. Five hypotheses guide the research, based on the assumption that indigenous communities such as the ones living in Polar zones and Pacific islands, developed resilience knowledge and strategies to cope with climate-related events. The project aims to co-develop a spatial decision-support system for producing and visualizing qualitative and quantitative data on the different forms of local, community, intrinsic and traditional resiliences in those communities. Utilizing a narrative approach, the consortium collects testimonials, cultures, memories, experiences, sensitivities and expertise from both Arctic and Pacific communities on forms of resilience and their visions of climate risks, alongside quantitative open-source data from traditional assessments. This data will be cross-referenced to build an interdisciplinary framework for a nuanced understanding of local needs, suitable to assess resilience in local contexts. Comprising researchers from France, Norway and the USA with diverse expertise, the consortium aims to contribute in developing risk management and resilience strategies by integrating local and indigenous knowledge into an adaptable and sustainable spatial decision-making tool. The tool aims to bridge the gap between international scientific research and local community realities, potentially informing strategies in other vulnerable territories in the future.

Funding scheme:

JPICULTURE-Cultural heritage and global change

Thematic Areas and Topics

No thematic area or topic related to the project