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Maritime Forum

Study on Arctic Lay and Traditional Knowledge

Although traditional societies are known for being highly adaptable (Arctic Human Development Report 2004), current changes are happening at a rate that is threatening their ways of life and economic survival, especially when combined with other...


The European Commission has commissioned EUNETMAR to conduct a study on Arctic lay and traditional knowledge. The purpose of the study is to identify community-based monitoring and observing programmes in the European Arctic and collect basic information on these.

The study feeds into the initiative currently piloted by the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) and Brown University to develop an Atlas of Community-Based Monitoring in a Changing Arctic. This is a web-based platform that will map past and current community-based and traditional knowledge monitoring projects in the Arctic (

The contents of this Report have been structured taking into account the requests specified in Ch. 3 of the Tendering Specifications and present an overview of the local and traditional knowledge harnessed from community-based monitoring and observing programmes. The information has been organised by “themes”:

  1. Climate change Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation. LTK, local adaptation and resource use
  2. Tackling food security. LTK, pollution, health, and harvesting rights
  3. Governance and resource rights: LTK, access issues and community viability
  4. Cultural identity: LTK, endangered languages and social challenges.
  5. Conservation of biodiversity and habitats including sacred sites

It should be noted that all information has been collected and processed without prejudice to the rights of indigenous populations and local communities, and a neutral approach towards the different knowledge paradigms has been maintained.

This study reflects the opinions and findings of the consultants and in no way reflects or includes views of the European Union and its Member States or any of the European Union institutions.