Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in Arctic Regions

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Introduction to the CAVIAR Project and Framework

  • Barry SmitAffiliated withGlobal Environmental Change Group, Department of Geography, University of Guelph Email author 
  • , Grete K. HovelsrudAffiliated withCICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo)
  • , Johanna WandelAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo
  • , Mark AndrachukAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, University of Guelph

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This chapter provides the research rationale for the CAVIAR case studies presented in this book. The CAVIAR project is a response to the incontrovertible need for analysis of how community vulnerability is shaped by various forces across the Arctic region. The research incorporates multiple sources of knowledge which enhances our understanding of what makes communities vulnerable or resilient to change. The goals of this project are; the application of a common analytical framework to identify the social and environmental factors, processes and interactions that shape the vulnerability of a selection of communities across the Arctic; to compare results across communities in order to identify commonalities and transferable lessons; and to improve our understanding of the relationships between localised vulnerability and multiple scales of decision-making related to adaptation. The theoretical basis and conceptual framework described in this chapter provides a structure for the remainder of chapters in this book.


Climate change Arctic Framework Interdisciplinary Community-based