Atlas of Community-Based Monitoring and Traditional Knowledge in a Changing Arctic
Indigenous communities in the Arctic have been observing the environment for millennia, drawing on their own knowledge systems and ways of engaging with the land, water, sea ice, snow, plants, and animals. Drawing on traditional knowledge, communities identify meaningful indicators that enable people to track ecosystem dynamics and monitor stasis and change. Non-indigenous Arctic residents also engage directly with the environment through fishing, hunting, and traveling in the region, and can offer their own observations. In response to increasing Arctic changes, many communities are initiating or participating in formal approaches to monitor observed changes.
The Atlas serves as an interactive inventory of community-based monitoring initiatives in the circumpolar Arctic. Initially developed with a focus on environmental monitoring programs, it is flexible enough to enable mapping of environmental and social initiatives. Many communities take a holistic view on change and emphasize connections between society and the environment.
Using the Atlas, communities involved in monitoring will have an easier time connecting with one another and will have a better sense of how their approaches to monitoring fit within a wider context. Additionally, researchers, funders, and other members of the Arctic monitoring community will better understand the role and potential of community-based monitoring.
The network encourages those who are affiliated with community-based monitoring or traditional knowledge projects or initiatives in the Arctic to join this network.