Sea ice retreat in the Arctic Ocean is one of the main drivers for increasing shipping activities especially in its Barents part. This is due to the extension of the navigation season and increase in the area of accessibility. The impact of such development on local coastal communities in the Barents region who are already exposed to a number of socio-economic and climatic changes have not received much attention in a scientific literature. At the same time, a number of studies from Canadian Arctic indicates the overall positive and negative effects of such development for coastal communities and their adaptive capacity.
Given the importance of addressing local context for studying communities adaptive capacity, the exchange visit will allow me to understand and analyze the impacts of changes in sea ice and increasing shipping activities on local communities in the Barents part. The research group on "Environment, Society and Policy" at University of Ottawa works actively with similar research questions in the Canadian Arctic.
The analyses will be based on data collected from two case communities: Longyearbyen on Svalbard and Solovetsky on Solovetsky Island in Russian Arctic.
Therefore, this work will contribute to knowledge exchange on local communities response and adaptive capacity to multiple changes in the Arctic. A particular focus will be given to communities involvement in adaptive co-management as a part of local governance system.
The results of the project will be broadly disseminated and communicate to relevant stakeholders. The research exchange will also contribute to cooperation between the research groups at Nord University and University of Ottawa.