ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research

Phase 4 (2015-2018)

Enhancing Community-Based Environmental Monitoring in the Canadian Arctic for Local and Regional Assessments and Adaptation Strategies

Project Leader(s)

Henry, Greg

Climate change and increasing development are transforming the Arctic rapidly. To understand the importance and future impacts of the changes we must monitor key elements of the environment, especially those of importance to Northerners, who are witnessing and living through the changes. Using a combination of local and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and scientific methods for monitoring is key to providing the best information to understand the changes in order to respond and adapt. This project involves the use of both TEK and scientific methods to monitor changes in the environment near communities in each of the four Inuit regions, with a focus on vegetation, especially berry producing shrubs and how they have changed over the past decades. Working with community members, the project will expand monitoring efforts and record important environmental changes and events based on the priorities of the community. A new community-focused information system will be used that will allow communities to record and use their own observations for planning and teaching. The project involves youth in all aspects, training them in monitoring using both TEK and scientific methods. They also participate in land camps and other activities to learn about their local environment from elders and scientists. Contributes to IRIS: 1, 2, 4