Grisco FAQ
What are overall goals of GRISCO?
Action on Climate Change Impacts (sea level rise) via ice sheet conservation in Ilulissat, Greenland. To co-produce knowledge with local communities hence promote Just and Equitable Societies. Explore monetization of the ice sheet for conservation.
What is the background to the project?

The melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is one of the climate tipping points that would have local and global impacts. Greenland aims at utilizing its natural resources as a source of income. Through Payments for Ecosystem Services, ice sheet conservation could provide Greenlanders with an alternative source of income. The project is inspired by existing research on targeted interventions, an emerging research topic among strategic responses to climate change. The project leader Prof. John Moore has published about targeted intervention methods in e.g. Nature (2018), and some ideas in this project have been introduced in a recent article in Global Policy (Moore et al. 2020). We presented Ice sheet conservation to members of the EU Parliament and EU permanent Representatives in 2019.

Preliminary modeling of Jakobshavn glacier and Ilulissat Fjord and Disko Bay waters has been made, including engineering plans and cost estimates. Climate intervention studies and other participatory research projects in Finnish Lapland (tourism) and Greenland (sand) have been conducted by the team. Team members have done research in Ilulissat.  In the study, we follow the IASSA Principles and Guidelines for Conducting Ethical Research in the Arctic and participatory research.

What overall problem does GRISCO help to solve?

Impact of climate change on the melting of the Greenland ice sheet diminishes the local ecology and harms traditional hunting and fishing ways of life. It furthermore lowers the attractiveness and  natural state of Ilulissat Fjord potentially reducing tourist income. Hence the project directly addresses the need for action on climate, and stimulates improvement in both local environment and employment. Wider benefits include better understanding of ice sheet preservation e.g. in Antarctica, and a hopeful means of engagement to global youth who crave the ability to take responsibility and act on climate. We explore alternative income sources for Greenland than the usual resources extraction options that are unsustainable, preserving and establishing a monetary value for the ice sheet is possibly the most sustainable  way of promoting Greenlandic socio-economic development.

In what ways does GRISCO involve Greenlanders?

The residents of Ilulissat fjord in Greenland will co-produce the knowledge with the team, and be a fundamental part  of the design via focus groups. The University of Greenland and Arctic Centre will interface with the Ilulissat area, Greenland Home Rule and ICC decision makers in exploring ice sheet monetization and social acceptability. Moreover, the project would explore how an ice sheet conservation would impact their ways of life and the local environment in comparison with continued ice sheet melt and retreat from the coast. Expertise in Greenland ice sheet from University of Copenhagen is unparalleled in the world, while the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland has developed mathematical tools for ice/ocean interaction and long experience of advanced ice sheet modelling. The multidisciplinary Arctic Centre runs the most-visited exhibition space (The Arktikum Science Centre) in the Arctic, and has one of the most extensive networks of Arctic social and cultural researchers in the world. 

How does GRISCO contribute to Agenda 2030 and the 17 sustainable development goals?

By reducing inequalities and providing Decent work via researching alternative income sources in Greenland to e.g. mineral exploitation via monetization of the ice sheet. This Climate Action is a unique partnership with local people to conserve the ice sheet, that wants to Improve individual and communities health and well being by helping preserve local ways of life and empowering choice in designing their own environment.

How does GRISCO contribute to improving equality between men and women?

We will ensure gender balance when recruiting focus group participants and other interviewees. This will be done for instance by paying attention to the schedules of local livelihoods and their seasonalities, the timing of the community workshops for enabling participation of different demographic groups, including parents of young children. The expertise of the University of Greenland and local collaborators will be relied on.

How does GRISCO contribute to improving children and young people’s rights and living conditions? How will children and/or young people be involved/participate in GRISCO?

Experience shows that young people are very motivated to do something positive about the climate crisis. They want to be constructive. This project provides exactly that opportunity. The community workshops will be designed to encourage participation of young people and children, e.g. by working through schools and youth organisations and by choosing collaboration methods that are interesting and appealing to Greenlandic youth. Interpretation between Greenlandic, Danish and English will be made available at the community workshops for enabling active communication. We will organize a Greenlandic Youth Art competition on illustrating their imaginaries on climate change and the expected or imagined positive / negative outcomes of targeted intervention in the Jakobshavn Glacier, Ilulissat region, and Greenland. A selection of artworks will be displayed as a traveling exhibition in Greenland (venue tbc) and at Arktikum Science Centre

How will GRISCO be phased out?
The co-design and funding mechanism research will naturally reach a conclusion - expected after 2 years of co-work. Any following steps will depend on how welcoming the Greenland people and government are to the project findings.
How will GRISCO be evaluated?
  1. Journal peer-review,
  2. Ilulissat participation and interest,
  3. Greenland governmental interest,
  4. International media and public interest in ice sheet conservation.

These can be assessed in policy terms in the following years, however only after the project.