Impacts of multiple pressures on Arctic landscapes and societies (RT 2)

The combined effects of mining activities in areas that are experiencing rapid climate and environmental change are poorly understood. This Research Task aims to investigate multiple social and environmental pressures on communities in ways that include the perspectives of indigenous peoples.

RT2-L1000050_Ellen-Lihti-smaller

Impacts of multiple pressures on Arctic landscapes and societies (RT 2)

The combined effects of mining activities in areas that are experiencing rapid climate and environmental change are poorly understood. This Research Task aims to investigate multiple social and environmental pressures on communities in ways that include the perspectives of indigenous peoples. The results will provide new best practices and processes for scientifically robust impact assessments of extractive industries that add value to political decision-making processes and enhance the adaptive capacity of communities to respond to change.

The research will be focused on two case studies, one in northern Fennoscandia (Kiruna) and one in western Greenland (Nuuk), in order to improve both the scientific quality, and social and political legitimacy, of impact assessments. It will include attention to the impact of changes in climate on ecosystem services and human resource use patterns, as well as attention to the impacts of extractive industries and other infrastructures and a growing tourism sector. In Fennoscandia, the focus is on the increasing pressure on reindeer pasturage where on-going collaborations with reindeer herding communities will be combined with developing models that integrate the effects of climate change and disturbances associated with land use changes and pollution. Similar methods will be applied to conflicts between mining, tourism, and traditional activities around the Nuuk Fjord in western Greenland. Community-based participatory research will be conducted based on well-established collaborations between scientists, indigenous/local people, government representatives, and industry.  The community participation methodology will be critically analyzed and developed as a sub-task in its own right, drawing on experiences of similar collaborations between indigenous communities and multidisciplinary research teams from Australia.

Large image: Ellen Sarri opening a logger-cabinet at an automatic weather station at Lihti, northern Swedish Lapland, Sweden. Photo: Ninis Rosqvist

Small image: Fall separation of reindeer at Larkim Nikkaluokta. Sepetmber 2014. Photo: Ninis Rosqvist

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