The French National Research Agency Projects for science

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ANR funded project

FACING SOCIETAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES (SOC&ENV)
Edition 2012


BRISK


BRidging Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge on Arctic changes: societies, vulnerabilities and adaptation.

Bridging Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge about Global Change in the Arctic
Building synergies between scientific and indigenous knowledge about Global Change in the Arctic by elaborating cutting-edge transdisciplinary methodologies to better understand the vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities of Arctic societies and environments.

Assess environmental, economic, political and social impacts
This innovative transdisciplinary approach (associating indigenous knowledge holders, climatologists, geographers, ecologists and anthropologists) is based on the complementary nature of indigenous and scientific knowledge. The project combines micro and macro-scale approaches through its engagement with partners at international, national, regional and local levels. The BRISK project elaborates cutting-edge interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methodologies and tools to build synergies between scientific and indigenous knowledge on climate and global changes in the Arctic. The objective is to enable innovative assessments of environmental, economic, political and social impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptive strategies. It contributes to bridging the gaps between natural and social sciences, between science and indigenous knowledge, and between indigenous community, the research community and policy-makers.

Transdisciplinary Observatories among reindeer herders (Fennoscandia, Siberia)
Based on case studies in Lapland (Norway, Sweden) and Siberia (Yakoutia, Amour, Kamchatka, Tuva Republic), BRISK develops innovative methodologies that facilitates knowledge co-production. It documents the state of the art with respect to scientific and indigenous methods and observations of global change. BRISK juxataposes and makes comparisons at several levels. Firstly, it examines in different but nonetheless coherent contexts, the intimate relationship between people and their environments through the comparison of two types of reindeer herding in Eurasia. Secondly, it considers the notion of “extreme meteorological events” from the differing viewpoints of climate scientists and indigenous peoples. Thirdly, in order to bring together indigenous and scientific knowledge for the observation of global change (climatic, environmental, industrial, social), community-based observing systems are jointly conceived by scientists (natural and social) and indigenous peoples.

Results

BRISK documents the key determinants of local vulnerability and resilience. In addition to a database, the project will produce recommendations to enhance local and international adaptation policies based on the comparison of two types of reindeer herding that have arisen in quite different economic and political contexts. This said, both systems today are confronted with, not only climate change, but also global change driven by regional, national and international policies, as well as the expansion of extractive industries.

Outlook

Missions have been carried out: Norwegian Lapland (M. Roué), Siberia/Yakutia/Amour (A. Lavrillier), Siberia/Tuva Republic (M. Rojo). A transdisciplinary observatory was installed in Yakutia/Amour. Two PhD are associated with BRISK (MNHN, UVSQ) and one Masters 1 in remote-sensing (UVSQ) is supported by the project. By winter 2014, BRISK should have set in place 3 or 4 community-based observatories. A collaboration is foreseen with the GEF/UNEP-funded Reindeer Herders International Project (ICRH).

Scientific outputs and patents

In addition to the presentation of the project and its first results in various conferences and research seminars, two scientific articles are currently being finalized.

Partners

CEARC Centre Européen pour l'Arctique

 CNRS DR ILE DE FRANCE SUD

EAE Eco-anthropologie et ethnobiologie

INSERM INSERM

LMD Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique

UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

ANR grant: 489 998 euros
Beginning and duration: janvier 2013 - 36 mois

Submission abstract

The BRISK project will elaborate cutting-edge interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methodologies and tools to build synergies between scientific and indigenous knowledge on climate and global changes in the Arctic. The objective is to enable innovative assessments of environmental, economic, political and social impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptive strategies. It will contribute to bridging the gaps between natural and social sciences, between science and indigenous knowledge, and between the research community and policy-makers.
Based on case studies in Lapland (Norway and Sweden) and Siberia among reindeer herders, it will develop methodologies to monitor change, with the direct involvement of local stakeholders. Through the comparison of two types of reindeer herding in very different economic and political contexts, BRISK will document the key determinants of local vulnerability and resilience, and produce recommendation to enhance local and international adaptation policies. It brings together indigenous peoples, climatologists, geographers, ecologists and social anthropologists, together with UNESCO and indigenous NGOs. BRISK combines micro and macro-scale approaches through its engagement with partners at international, national, regional and local levels. It also sets in place community-based observing systems for social and environmental change that create opportunities for the co-production of knowledge. This innovative transdisciplinary approach is based on the complementary nature of indigenous and scientific knowledge.
Living in a close relationship with their environment, indigenous peoples are keen observers of climate change effects. They are confronted with the impacts of climate change (warming, shortened snow seasons, weather unpredictability, forest fires, animal species declines, invasive species, new diseases and parasitic illnesses) in addition to global changes caused by regional, national and international policies, and the expansion of extractive industries, forestry and mega-energy development.
This project is structured according to three main tasks. Firstly, climatologists will gather information from existing data bases about temperature, prevailing winds, snow and ice cover over the past 30 years for each fieldwork site. They will train social anthropologists to exploit these data in their interactions with indigenous peoples. Secondly, by gathering the best worldwide specialists on linking indigenous and scientific knowledge, BRISK will assess the state of the art in Arctic observing systems and define cutting-edge methodologies. At field sites, anthropologists will work with indigenous stakeholders through local workshops to define optimized methodologies for permanent community-based monitoring. Thus, BRISK will develop an interdisciplinary database on risk, vulnerability and adaptation opportunities of environment and society, as well as models for community-based observatories of the cumulative impacts of global and climate change.
Through the BRISK project, the French research community will expand its engagement in circumpolar Arctic issues and strengthen its partnership role in international research-policy networks such as Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON). It will generate new methods, knowledge and adaptation strategies, both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary, and disseminate using multiple media including websites, scientific journals, books, videos, specialized workshops and international conferences. BRISK will serve as a springboard for the elaboration of an inter and transdisciplinary FP7 proposal.

 

ANR Programme: FACING SOCIETAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES (SOC&ENV) 2012

Project ID: ANR-12-SENV-0005

Project coordinator:
Madame Alexandra LAVRILLIER (Centre Européen pour l'Arctique)
alavrillier@nullgmail.com

 

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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.