Low-Res_The team from Qaanaaq_2.png
While no photos were taken during the consultation process described in this research, Arctic PASSION has a partnership with Indigenous Peoples in 6 Arctic communities. In this photo a team of local hunters and scientists in Qaanaaq, Greenland surveyed a fjord’s ocean and ice conditions and deployed instruments to record noise in the marine environment to build the first baseline dataset from the region on Arctic marine climate change, noise pollution and impacts on marine living resources. Photo: Steffen M. Olsen, The Danish Meteorological Institute.

The power of Indigenous voices and data supporting the green transition

8.8.2023 15:33

A new policy paper: “Data-driven Subnational Decision-making in the Arctic: The power of Indigenous voices and data supporting the green transition” will change the way we look at green transition. Published by the team at the University of Lapland, a partner in the Arctic PASSION project.

The Policy Brief summarises the preliminary findings of Arctic PASSION’s work on enhancing evidence-based decision-making at the local and regional level in the Arctic, with respect to two themes:  The state of inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in sub-national decision-making; and data availability, needs and gaps with respect to managing and planning the green transition.

1. With regards to the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge in sub-national decision-making: The cooperation of Indigenous Peoples, science and governance could benefit from:

• Facilitating awareness among subnational policymakers of the specific issues and challenges Indigenous populations face in specific regions.
• Increasing the number of persons with Indigenous identity in administrative bodies.
• Ensuring a better understanding of Indigenous communities’ relations to land and water and facilitating further knowledge exchange between Indigenous communities, scientists/researchers and policymakers on practices of including Indigenous perspective in policies and plans.
• Providing results of scientific research transparently demonstrates a broad perspective on the activities that should be performed and how they would benefit the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population of the particular community.
• Ensuring that the inclusion of three parallel perspectives - Indigenous, local, and scientific - becomes a normal approach to developing risk assessments, reports, plans, and policies.

2. Regarding data availability, needs and gaps with respect to managing and planning green transition at a subnational governance level: There is a need to develop better tools for assessing local and global impacts and benefits of green energy investments.

• Comprehensive databases capturing green transition planning information and data are needed, reflecting the need for more holistic policy-making.
• National and EU policymakers could consider supporting cooperation between Arctic municipalities and regions with respect to climate mitigation and adaptation. Such collaborations should focus on concrete actions and the exchange of specific models, tools, and processes, rather than abstract sharing of good practices. A case study approach may be beneficial in this context.
• There is a need to invest more in generating data and aggregating information related to social indicators linked directly to green transition projects.

The above insights emerged from 30 semi-structured in-depth interviews with a sample of Arctic and sub-Arctic subnational decision-makers, rightsholders, and stakeholders.

Rovaniemi, Kemi, Kuusamo (Finland) 
Luleå, Stockholm municipalities (Sweden) 
Municipalities of Harstad, Tana, Vardø, and Kvænangen (Norway)
Reykjavik municipality (Iceland) 
Avannaata municipality (Greenland) 
City & Borough of Juneau, Anchorage Municipality (Alaska, USA) 

Arctic Council Permanent Participants: 
Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada

Environmental agencies:
Norwegian Centre for Climate Services (Norway) 
Environment and Climate Change (Canada) 

The Governments of Yukon, NWT, Nunavut (Canada) 
Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development of Norway 
Learn more:
The 31-page policy paper
A flyer summarizing the main paper findings
About Arctic PASSION

Pavel Tkach pavel.tkach(at)ulapland.fi, +358402580946, the lead author for the policy brief

Adam Stepien adam.stepien(at)ulapland.fi, +358404844298, a contributor to the policy brief

News release originally published  29-JUN-2023 in EurekAlert