Informative piece on the relationship between indigenous communities and climate change. Consider this while you read Schlosberg and Carruthers next week.

RFF Library Blog

Brookings Institution / by Ilan Kelman and Marius Warg Næss

This paper explores anthropogenic climate change influencing displacement/migration for the Saami in Finland, Norway and Sweden near or above the Arctic Circle. Norway plays a large role throughout this discussion because (i) most residents in Arctic Scandinavia live in Norway, (ii) most indigenous peoples in Arctic Scandinavia live in Norway, and (iii) Norway is the only country of the three which has Arctic coastline…

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  1. collinclark2013
    February 4, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I found this article to be interesting and unique. When someone says climate change many people automaticallly associate the people who will be affected are the future generations. So it is a unique way to look at how quickly climate change can affect inigenous people. From the article, it mentioned that a warmer climate would open up new opportunities for other businesses to move in such as mining, forestry, and off-shore drilling. Prevously not accessebile the Saami people could raise their concerns and not have their way of life impacted. Also, since the arctic climate is such a fragile climate, any small change will be exacerbated and felt much stronger than a region closer to the equator. This article made me realize that climate change is an issue much more dangerous to modern day humans than previously assumed.

  2. Mark Maloney
    February 5, 2013 at 3:58 am

    I think this is a rarely discussed topic, as climate change is so often exclusively discussed in affecting the most developed and populated regions of the world. This research on the various patterns, cultures, and migration of the Saami people and other indigenous of Arctic Scandinavia provides a new perspective on adapting to the imminent effects brought on by climate change. The subject at hand is a bit tricky, because while these warming effects may open up new economic opportunities for the area, other effects to the natural environment there will not be so pleasing. Increased chances of land slides, flooding, and a rise in sea level pose serious threats to all people involved in this area, especially considering the density of people living near the shore. A central adaptation plan is discussed in this study along with several mitigation strategies, not withholding significant social reform everywhere from schools to the workplace. The problems presented to the indigenous and immigrant peoples of the Arctic Scandinavian landscape pry urgently at the social and political strings which govern it, but the framework discussed may be used as a future adaptation strategy for developing and less-populated regions across the world in dealing with the consequences of climate change.

  3. February 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    From an environmental justice perspective, questions arise around the “adaptation” strategies. To what extent will the the adaptation strategies maintain “capabilities” of the individual and the community? How will that be assessed? What role will the Arctic Scandinavians had in the development of those strategies?

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