Press release: CAVIAR – Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in Arctic Regions
Brief description of research
CAVIAR is an interdisciplinary project with partners from the eight Arctic nations. The aim of CAVIAR is to increase understanding of how Arctic communities are affected by climate and other changes and to contribute to the development of adaptive strategies and policies. Case studies in communities across the Arctic provide a basis for synthesizing knowledge of how communities experience changes in environmental, social and economic conditions and factors that influence adaptation to these changes. By using a common methodology, results are compared and provide critical, generalizable knowledge of vulnerability and experiences with adaptation to climate and other changes in the Arctic countries that can be exchanged both locally and internationally.
Period of field work (as appropriate)
Ongoing from 2007 to 2009 (and possibly longer)
Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA (Alaska).
Figure 1 - Locations of fieldwork in the eight Arctic nations (Map compiled by Winfried K. Dallmann).
Preliminary results and conclusions
- Vulnerability varies within and between communities, depending on the mix of social and ecological variables
- Arctic communities have frequently been exposed to strongly fluctuating socio-economic and environmental changes and vulnerability and adaptation to these linked changes must be viewed in this context.
- Exposures are identified by the local communities themselves, contributing to the development of community involvement in research.
- Responses to stresses related to food systems and livelihoods are mainly initiated by individuals.
- Actions in response to infrastructure risks are mainly taken by local and higher level governments and institutions
- Climate change will have both positive and negative influences on the outcome of adaptation strategies
A hunter at the edge of an ice floe (hunting narwhals) in Arctic Canada, Igloolik (photographer: James Ford)
Fishermen at work outside Kjøllefjord, Finnmark, Norway (photographer: Jennifer J. West, Copyright CICERO)
Also see this Poster (PDF)and flyer (PDF) for more specific information on CAVIAR.
Contacts for media
phone: +1 519 824 4120 ext.53279
Grete Kaare Hovelsrud
phone: +47 22 85 87 69
Coordinator for CAVIAR Canada
phone: +1 519 824 4120 ext.58961
Bob van Oort
Coordinator CAVIAR Norway
phone: +47 22 85 87 51
Contact information for researchers involved with specific community case studies can be provided upon request (for the Canadian case studies please contact Mark Andrachuk with requests, for the European case studies please contact Bob van Oort with requests).
On February 25th 2009, the IPY Joint Committee will release a report on 'The State of Polar Research'. In the lead-up to this event, major IPY research projects are releasing information for the press, and making themselves available for media enquiries. A wide range of projects will be profiled reflecting the diversity of IPY. For more information, please visit http://www.ipy.org/index.php?ipy/detail/feb09_projects/ or contact Rhian Salmon (
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Tuesday, 03 February 2009 14:59
CAVIAR – Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in Arctic RegionsWritten by Louise Huffman
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