OBServatories for BRidging Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge about ENVironmental Changes in the Arctic: Adaptation and Vulnerabilities of the Environment and Related Societies

BRISK’s OBS ENV is the continuation of BRISK’s OBS (2014-2017). It is constituted by four Siberian transdisciplinary observatories among Evenki reindeer herders and townspeople. The installation, development, data production and analysis were jointly conceived by scientists (natural and social) and indigenous peoples.

It assesses local environmental changes and related socio-economic impacts in the current context of the interplaying global environmental crisis, geopolitical interest in the Arctic’s resources and increasing Arctic pollution. Based on the complementarity of indigenous and scientific knowledge, and in accordance with the COP21 agreement, it aims to build synergies between the natural and social sciences, between science and indigenous knowledge and between indigenous communities, scientists and policy-makers. This innovative methodology allows knowledge co-production that contributes to filling gaps about the Arctic environment and its current changes. Also, classical anthropological methods are used to study socio-economic impacts on the societies concerned and their adaptive strategies.

It includes a study of changes in biodiversity (appearance and disappearance or increase or decrease of animal and vegetal species). Secondly, it considers pollution by monitoring human sensory perceptions, new reindeer illnesses and lichen evolution. Thirdly, it provides a cloud atlas in order to document the Arctic cloud cover and air pollution.