The Nordic Council of Ministers' Committee for Cooperation has, at a meeting in Stockholm 27 October 2014, granted 1 million DKK to a natural resource project proposed by Greenland as a political priority under the Nordic Council of Ministers' Arctic Cooperation Program.
The project will initiate a common Nordic - Arctic cooperation to enhance democratic citizen participation in decision-making regarding the use of natural resources.
The Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture in Greenland will oversee the project in collaboration with representatives of each of the Nordic countries' institutions responsible for the management of natural resources.
The project work will be supervised by a professional working group consisting of participants from Greenland’s Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture (Chairman); KNAPK (the association of hunters and fishermen in Greenland); SliCA (Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic); Greenland Institute of Natural Resources; Nordic Foundation for Development and Ecology; International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry; SnowChange Cooperative and ELOKA (Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic).
Institutions from all of the Arctic countries will be invited to participate in the project.
Indigenous peoples and local residents in the Arctic have great insights into natural resources and the environment. Today, however, their knowledge is rarely used systematically in the political process.
Nordic authorities and researchers have in various former projects, in collaboration with local residents, developed tools that can 'open doors' for indigenous peoples and local resident’s knowledge.
The new tools are aimed at enabling indigenous peoples and local residents who utilize nature and natural resources to collect and communicate their knowledge.
When traditional and local knowledge are recorded and communicated in a systematic manner, based on observations made throughout the year, it will have a greater chance of being used, both in local and national decision-making.
With the Nordic Council of Ministers appropriation, the preparation of specific tools, which can be used for the continuous collection and communication of traditional and local knowledge about fish-ing, hunting, nature, weather and climate, can be initiated.
The new tools will make it easier for local fishermen and hunters to participate in discussions on the utilisation of, and changes in nature, and on how sustainable development can be achieved, including whether own tradition and behavior must change. In the long term, increased involvement of citizen knowledge in the smaller communities can help promote economic survival within sustainable limits.
The new tools are especially important for the many people in the world who depend on natural resources. They often live in remote areas and they are seriously affected by climate change.
Contacts for further information: Birgitte Jacobsen firstname.lastname@example.org or Nette Levermann email@example.com