Reindeer Herding and Youth: Project proposal. Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group.

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Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)
Justification of the new action including relations to a priority subject area, activity of other working groups and contribution to gender equality. This project is related to several key and priority areas of importance highlighted by the Arctic Council in the Nuuk Declaration of 2011 and the recommendations from the 9th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic region in 2010. This project represents a continuation of the legacy of both ACIA and IPY, and is an IPY legacy project. Furthermore it is linked to the strategic goals of the Russia’s Arctic Policy to 2020 and Beyond adopted in 2008 and the Russian Federation Climate Change Doctrine 2009. With reference to the daunting challenges reindeer herding in the north face as a result of projected climate change, land use change and societal changes in the north the coming decades, IPY EALAT has concluded that adaptation to change demands the training of local Arctic leaders in long term sustainable thinking. This project focuses on training and engagement of indigenous reindeer herding youth who represent the sustainable future of reindeer herding and other traditional livelihoods in the Arctic. The meaningful engagement of indigenous peoples for the future is..”...fundamental to addressing circumpolar challenges and opportunities” (Tromso Declaration, 2009), and the continued engagement of indigenous peoples and communities is emphasized “ a fundamental strength of the Council” (Nuuk Declaration, 2011). This must clearly also apply to engagement of indigenous youth. Climate change and socio-economic change are now evident across the Arctic, and is particularly evident in reindeer herding cultures and in their traditional areas. Global and regional scenarios project dramatic changes in temperature, precipitation and snow conditions in the key areas for reindeer herding and in social-economic changes for reindeer herding communities and other indigenous communities in the Arctic. Degradation of pasture lands combined with the consequences of a changing climate will challenge the future of reindeer husbandry (Magga et al 2011). Building competence locally to meet these changes is therefore important. Furthermore, we believe in empowering Arctic indigenous peoples with the best technology available to develop adaption strategies to future change. This project addresses the needs for adaptation and vulnerability strategies to be focused on the community level, as also recommended by the Tromso Declaration. The Nuuk Declaration (2011) “...reiterate the importance of the use of Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge and capacity-building initiatives in the planning and implementation of measures to adapt to climate change” and further “...recognize that climate change and other negative factors have impacted the traditional livelihoods and food safety and security of Arctic Indigenous Peoples”. This project will continue the legacy of IPY, with its focus on youth, education, outreach of both scientific and traditional knowledge and capacity building. This speaks directly to the important recognition given these issues by the Arctic Council in the Tromso and Nuuk Declarations. Finally, the 9th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic region in 2010, explicitly asked the Arctic Council to “...Strengthen the cooperation of the circumpolar reindeer herders network, including the IPY legacy, the University of the Arctic Institute for Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry, as reindeer as a species and their grazing land have significance for human life and the economy in the Arctic”. This proposal is a follow-up of SDWG EALÁT-Information. The initiative also wish to link to CAFF ongoing monitoring project in reindeer husbandry. The project will ensure gender equality among participants, also in accordance with the Kautokeino-declaration on the occasion of the 4th World Reindeer Herders Congress in 2009.