Arctic Resilience Interim Report Released, Pictures from Kautokeino Workshop

June 6, 2013 • Philip BurgessBlog, ICR/WRH

Arctic Resilience Report CoverLate last year a workshop was organised by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the Stockholm Resilience Centre to further the work being undertaken in the Arctic Council Arctic Resilience Report. The Arctic Resilience Report is a science-based assessment that aims to better understand the integrated impacts of change in the Arctic. Its goals are to:

• Identify the potential for shocks and large shifts in ecosystems services that affect human well-being in the Arctic.

• Analyze how different drivers of change interact in ways that affect the ability of ecosystems and human populations to withstand shocks, adapt or transform.

• Evaluate strategies for governments and communities to adapt.

The Arctic Resilience Report is led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre and engages experts from across the Arctic. At the recent Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Kiruna, the Arctic Resilience Interim Report  was released. In late 2012, an Arctic Resilience workshop was held in Kautokeino to support the project and develop Chapter 9 in the Report, Strategies to enhance the resilience of Sámi reindeer husbandry to rapid changes in the Arctic. This chapter describes how reindeer herding – a clear example of an integrated social-ecological system – is embodied in the Sámi language and traditional governance models. Major historic shocks to the system include the closure of national borders and the introduction of new laws on reindeer management. Major future challenges include climate change, industrial development and subsequent loss of grazing land. Strategies for enhancing resilience include integrating traditional knowledge in formal governance systems and engaging young people. Lead authors include Svein D. Mathiesen1, Bjørn Alfthan, Robert Corell, Ravdna B. M. Eira, Inger Marie G. Eira, Anna Degteva, Kathrine I. Johnsen, Anders Oskal, Marie Roué, Mikkel Nils Sara, Eli R. Skum, Ellen Inga Turi and Johan Mathis Turi. the Arctic Resilience Report (ARR) workshop in Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino, Norway, visited the Triumf family in Biedjovággi.

The area is important for grazing and calving but also of interest for mining companies as a source of gold and copper.  The conversation in the lávvo broughtout some of the politics of the area and also illustrated that local life in western Finnmark is not only local but also closely linked both to global market demands for natural resources and national decision making. Climate change will add yet another dimension of rapid change in the region. The three-day workshop 29-31 Oct, 2012, focused on bringing the assessment of resilience closer to northern realities and also on providing an opportunity for in-depth discussion about the meeting of traditional/local and scientific knowledge in the context of resilience. It featured a mixture of presentations from science and traditional knowledge as well as participatory exercises that gave an opportunity for identification and co-production of knowledge.

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Learn more about the Arctic Resilience project here.

Read an article about the workshop here.