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ELOKA: Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic

The goal of ELOKA is to facilitate the collection, preservation, exchange, and use of local observations and knowledge of the Arctic by providing data management and user support, and to foster collaboration between local and international researchers. Over the last decade, Arctic residents and indigenous peoples have been increasingly involved in, and taking control of, research. Through Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) research and community-based monitoring, Arctic communities have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to understanding recent environmental change.

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A key challenge of LTK research and community-based monitoring to date is having an effective and appropriate means of recording, storing, and managing data and information. Another challenge is to find an effective means of making such data available to Arctic residents and researchers, as well as other interested groups such as teachers, students, and decision makers. Without a network and data management system to support LTK and community-based research, a number of problems have arisen, such as, misplacement or loss of extremely precious data from Elders who have passed away, lack of awareness of previous studies causing repetition of research and wasted resources occurring in the same communities, and a reluctance or inability to initiate or maintain community-based research without an available data management system. Thus, there is an urgent need for effective and appropriate means of recording, preserving, and sharing the information collected in Arctic communities. ELOKA aims to fill this gap.