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Future of Northern Communities

Impacts of climate change and dialogue between scientific and traditional knowledge were debated at a breakout session of the 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly. The discussions were chaired by Philippe Couillard, the Premier of Quebec, Canada. Finn Danielsen shared lessons from programs in the Nordic countries where community knowledge is providing support for government decision-making on the use of natural resources.

Knowledge is essential to northern development, especially in a context of climate change. While the scientific community is interested in the changes occurring in the North, northern communities are the first to feel the effects not only on ecosystems, but also on their society, culture, and lifestyle.

Traditional knowledge is therefore key to understanding the issues and developing solutions. The purpose of this session was to spur dialogue between academic, scientific, aboriginal, and government perspectives regarding the importance of knowledge, expertise sharing, and national and international cooperation to sustainable northern development. Speakers also included Paul Shrivastava, Director of Future Earth, Louis Fortier, Scientific Director of ArcticNet, and Ari Jonsson, Rector of Reykjavik University.

Photo: Nette Levermann

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