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.
Project ID: ANR-12-SENV-0005
Madame Alexandra LAVRILLIER (Centre Européen pour l'Arctique)
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.