User login


Looking for something ?

Global Change in the Arctic and Co-production of Knowledge: An international workshop

27 September 2012, Paris, France

Reindeer in Kautokeino, Norway.
Photo by Doug Nakashima, 2014.


Arctic land and seascapes, and the indigenous peoples who depend upon their resources, are subject to growing stress from global climate change. Furthermore, expanding industrial development and large-scale shipping are generating new risks. In the face of these accelerating physical, biological and social transformations, there is a need to monitor change, assess impacts and mobilize responses so as to adequately inform adaptation policies and practice. At present, however, monitoring mechanisms are of limited scope. Scientific data focus on bio-physical factors and broad spatial scales, but lack the societal components and human dimension that Arctic communities require to guide adaptation. Individuals and communities are already responding to change, but these efforts remain poorly documented and understood.

This international experts workshop will contribute to strengthening the Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON), organized under the auspices of the Arctic Council, by reinforcing community-based and social science components, as a complement to the existing bio-physical monitoring capacities. The aim is to bring together a select group of natural and social scientists, and indigenous peoples, from across the circumpolar region to enhance collaborative indigenous-scientific work on global change impacts, monitoring and adaptation, and thus advance thinking on the emerging paradigm of knowledge co-production. This new paradigm is attracting a great deal of interest in the framework of international debates not only relating to climate change, but also biodiversity conservation and sustainable use (e.g. the recently established Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); Future Earth; and follow-up to Rio+20).

The workshop was organized by UNESCO and the National Museum of Natural History.