Feasibility study on co-production of knowledge between researchers and indigenous communities for climate change adaptation

The purpose of the feasibility study is to test an approach – the Search Conference method – to co-produce enhanced understanding of environmental and social changes in local indigenous communities and the consequences of these changes. The process is called ‘search’ because it brings people together to explore possibilities or search for a desirable future for their community.

The proposed study will explore knowledge for adaptation to environmental change. This topic addresses concerns raised by Eira, Oskal, Hanssen-Bauer, and Mathiesen (2018): “Indigenous reindeer herding in the circumpolar North is threatened by multiple drivers of environmental and social changes that affect the sustainability of traditional family-based nomadic use of pastures. These impacts are exacerbated by indigenous peoples’ lack of voice in governance strategies, management and adaptation responses.”

Focusing on one reindeer herding community in Fennoscandia and one in Chersky, Sakha Yakutia, the project partners will use different tools to collect and analyze available information and knowledge about climate risk and adaptation measures, also consider these communities’ relation to ‘modern’ livelihoods in the region. As such, the feasibility study will examine how to use scientific, traditional and local knowledge to provide knowledge that has high science quality and high relevance for the local indigenous communities, as well as the scientific community.