Climate Change in Northern Quebec: Adaptation Strategies from Community-Based Research
Keywords:adaptation, climate change, ice monitoring, integrated community-based monitoring, semi-structured interviews, northern Quebec, scientific knowledge, traditional knowledge
Arctic communities are recently reporting warmer and shorter winters, which have implications for the ice season and, consequently, on the access to local territories and resources by members of these communities. These climatic shifts are resulting in increased risks for travel during the winter season associated with less stable and thinner ice. An integrated community-based monitoring (ICBM) program was developed in Nunavik to generate adaptation tools to support safe access to land and resources and to enhance local adaptive capacity through participation in community-based monitoring activities. The Nunavik ICBM approach brings together partners (northern communities, Canadian universities, and various organizations) that have different perspectives on the issues surrounding land and resources in Nunavik. The ICBM project also brings together traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge, linking data collected through semi-structured interviews, local ethnocartographic interviews, and ice-monitoring activities with data gathered at weather stations. The partnership-based Nunavik ICBM program dealing with territory and resource access is an example of communities and scientists working together to improve our understanding of climate change impacts in the North, their importance for aboriginal people, and the ways in which an integrated, cooperative research process can develop local adaptive capacity.