Project: Future Arctic livelihoods and biodiversity in a changing climate

Acronym FutureArcticLives (Reference Number: BiodivClim-403)
Duration 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023
Project Topic Climate change is occurring faster in the Arctic than any other region, with tremendous consequences for Arctic biodiversity and rural and indigenous people that depend on it. Recent years have seen exceptional decline of sea ice and increasingly unpredictable weather on land causing rapid large-scale ecological and biodiversity changes undermining established production patterns of hunting, fishing, gathering and herding by rural and indigenous communities. These changes occur in a context of far-ranging economic, cultural and political change and commercial interests focusing on the same areas. Limited scientific monitoring data prevents prediction of trends for some species and locations. Quantitative information about the welfare or well-being consequences of likely changes in biodiversity for local communities is scarce or lacking, particularly where use is mainly for subsistence. Policies favoring large-scale operations and other sectors may furthermore constrain adaptation possibilities. Scenario assessments are needed to determine impacts of climate and biodiversity change on Arctic communities and explore management options. This proposal is, therefore, guided by the overall question - what are the likely future impacts and adaptation possibilities for small-scale primary resource users in Greenland and Northern Sweden and Norway in the face of climate and biodiversity change? Focus is on traditional Inuit hunters and small-scale fishers in Greenland, Saami reindeer herders in northern Sweden and Norway and the coastal Saami in the Porsanger Fjord in Norway, but in the context of broader interests and commercial operations. Hence, the project will mainly address theme 1 evaluating biodiversity change as a consequence of climate change and the implications for rural and indigenous populations relying on natures contribution from terrestrial and marine hunting and whaling and small scale coastal fishing to reindeer husbandry in boreal forest and taiga. The project will also address theme 3 and 4 through policy and legal studies at the international, EU, and national legal and policy context. To this end, the project will conduct key stakeholder interviews and do questionnaire surveys to collect new data and combine this with existing register data in ways not previously attempted to produce new data sets. The analysis will assess and attempt to validate resource user observations and local knowledge as a means to enable predictions of biodiversity trends and develop a community-based monitoring system. Time-space models and future scenario simulations will be developed to evaluate welfare consequences in scenarios of future biodiversity change and new income sources. The project involves ten partner institutions in five work packages working under advisory boards in each country to fulfill 18 scientific objectives. Members of the advisory boards are selected from key-stakeholders to provide direct pathways to impact for exploitable results
Project Results
(after finalisation)
FutureArcticLives will explore and compare management options and draw synthesis across the three cases. In Greenland, specific objectives include quantifying reliance on wildlife and fish at the household economic level and assessing welfare implications in future scenario simulations on biodiversity change and development in other sectors. Literature review and user-generated data will be applied to evaluate species-specific vulnerability and predict population trends for developing future scenarios in a context of limited scientific data. For reindeer herding, objectives include determining the extent to which cultural and intrinsic values and income from reindeer husbandry are crucial to modern Swedish and Norwegian reindeer herders and their coping strategies. Forecasts will assess Saami herder livelihood strategies' viability and be used as input to a bio-economic model evaluating the costs and benefits of climate scenarios. For the sea Saami, objectives include an ecosystem service assessment of nature's contribution, identifying local conceptions of ecosystem health and community wellbeing indicators. Ecosystem restoration goals will be co-developed with local communities and authorities as part of an adaptive management plan for the Porsanger Fjord. Cross-cutting objectives include analysing the synergies and trade-offs between policies and laws applicable to hunting, fishing and reindeer husbandry and their relation to those on biodiversity, climate and other relevant sectors and contexts at different levels. Experience with nature-based solutions will be compared, identifying barriers to adaptation.
Website visit project website
Network BiodivClim
Call 2019-2020 Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Copenhagen Coordinator Denmark
2 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Partner Sweden
3 Technical University of Denmark Partner Denmark
4 Ilisimatusarfik - University of Greenland Observer Denmark
5 Norwegian University of Science and Technology Partner Norway
6 Umeå University Partner Sweden
7 Luleå University of Technology Partner Sweden
8 Aalborg University Partner Denmark
9 The Arctic University of Norway Partner Norway
10 Norwegian Institute for Nature Research Partner Norway