Climate change is penetrating all biological processes and production systems in the Arctic. Increased accessibility of its natural resources is transforming the region into an important player in the global economy. This will change the livelihood of northern people who depend on the land. The overall aim of the ReiGN is to understand how climate change and other processes in the Arctic will affect reindeer husbandry in Fennoscandia and how reindeer husbandry can adapt to these drivers. Fennoscandian reindeer husbandry represents ecological, socio-economical and institutional gradients as reflected in different adaptations and management regimes. This opens for a comparative research approach; combining modelling with empirical data analyses and semi-experimental approaches within a Social-ecological System framework.
By integrating perspectives from natural and social sciences as well as economics, we will identify key drivers, including internal drivers, and dissect their effects on the industry. This will enable us to evaluate its adaptive capacity and how these challenges can best be met by management actions. The multidisciplinary and multi-site Centre has great potential for intra Nordic scientific achievements and innovations and outreach for natural resource management internationally.
We outline the main challenges for reindeer husbandry within a climate change and globalization perspective by defining six interrelated research work packages: i) Genetic resources, biodiversity & breeding, ii) Living landscapes - ecologic and social foundations of mobility, iii) Tipping points and the resilience of pastures - critical transitions in reindeer husbandry iv) The evolution of reindeer and pastoral strategies for different climatic scenarios, v) bioeconomics and vi) Governing systems of reindeer husbandry.
Competence building by including young promising researchers and PhDs across disciplines and international capacities will fuel the Centre. The Centre will initiate academic arenas and interact closely with stakeholders to serve as an incubator for developing new ideas and research approaches and point to pathways for actions, vital for the industry's sustainability.