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New evidence helps Canada prepare for a changing Arctic

Representatives from Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the ArcticNet research network

Representatives from Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and the ArcticNet research network at the Nov. 29, 2012 release of the report, "Nunavik and Nunatsiavut: From Science to Policy, An Integrated Regional Impact Study of Climate Change and Modernization."

(Photo courtesy of ArcticNet)

The challenge:

Reductions in sea-ice have been felt for some time by hunters who rely on marine animals for sustenance. Unique habitat and fauna have been impacted. On land, melting permafrost is impacting transportation, buildings and other infrastructure. Less ice will likely lead to more shipping and resource development, with possible consequences for environmental sustainability, Canadian sovereignty and security. Local, territorial and federal governments need evidence on the extent of these changes and expert advice on how to respond to improve the quality of life, safeguard the environment and facilitate sustainable development in a warming Arctic.

How ArcticNet is helping:

Following years of research and consultation with community and government leaders, ArcticNet released the most extensive study ever undertaken on the impacts of climate change and modernization in the regions of Nunavik and Nunatsiavut. The 300-page Integrated Regional Impact Study provides plain language, evidence-based options to help local communities—which are at the centre of impacts from climate change—and other levels of government address issues related to human health, safety and security, vulnerability of infrastructure and the need to protect ecosystems from the impacts of these changes.

The collapse of the layer of permafrost, shown in red, in 1998 in Salluit eventually led to the relocation of 20 houses.

The collapse of the layer of permafrost, shown in red, in 1998 in Salluit eventually led to the relocation of 20 houses.

(Photo courtesy of ArcticNet)

What community stakeholders are saying:

“This study is a great tool to express our needs and we should get together with our northern neighbours of Nunatsiavut to work as a team when the project is launched in Quebec City to make sure that it gets the attention it deserves. This work will also help us in our community consultations as we continue to develop Parnasimautik (Plan Nunavik).”
Maggie Emudluk, Chair, Kativik Regional Government

“The ArcticNet Integrated Regional Impact Study presents a unique foundation for synthesizing research through integrated, co-managed projects that are meaningful to Nunatsiavut and the Arctic community as a whole, while allowing the region to continue to evaluate and expand existing studies, with a focus on the health and well-being of Labrador Inuit.”
Johannes Lampe, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Nunatsiavut Government