Arctic Residents' Observations and Human Impact Assessments in Understanding Environmental Changes in Boreal Forests: Russian Experience and Circumpolar Perspectives
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Three methods of gathering local and traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples were used to assess environmental changes and human impacts in Russian boreal forest communities: structured interviews, followed by an unstructured interview, and an education/training workshop. The most important environment changes reported by Indigenous Peoples included the disappearance of animals and plants, climate changes, a decrease in forest and shrub area, and human impacts such as poaching, forests fires, industrial logging, clearing of forests for firewood, and water pollution by industrial wastes and discharges. We propose establishment of the Boreal Residents' Network for Socio-environment Assessments and Education for Sustainable Development to acquire local and traditional knowledge as a supplement to scientific monitoring. The proposed approach would involve permanent inhabitants living in a broad range of boreal forests to gather local and traditional knowledge and assessments. This could lead to a meta-database to share with international networks.
KeywordsArctic residents observations and assessments boreal forests circumpolar monitoring environment and climate change Indigenous Peoples local and traditional knowledge
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