Analysis & Opinions - ArcticToday

An Arctic Innovation Hub Could Help the Region Adapt to Climate Change

Aug. 25, 2020

By bringing communities and scientists together, such a hub would prioritize local needs, but draw on global research.

A new sense of the severity of climate emergency is growing around the world, following youth activists and increasingly severe weather. As COVID-19 has forced them to create new lifestyles, climate change will demand significant transitions for each society after the tipping point. The Arctic is the most vulnerable region, with temperatures rising more than twice as fast as the global average. If we have channels to exchange needs and experiences inside and outside the Arctic, both of people will benefit from the relationship; Indigenous communities in the Arctic would solve ongoing adaptation challenges; people outside the Arctic would learn clues about how to prepare for the approaching impact of climate change.

The melting sea ice is dramatically disturbing the traditional life of Arctic Indigenous communities. These communities are masters of adaptation who have lived in the Arctic for a long time. The accelerated environmental change has begun to overcome their traditional knowledge, however. For example, the retreat of sea ice has disrupted hunters from accessing to subsistence animals and the communities. We need to fill the gap to continue to sustain their lives in the Arctic.

Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) have the potential to promote adaptations in the Arctic Indigenous community. People in the modern world invest in STI to solve social problems. The United Nations promotes STI as key means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I propose the concept of a "Global Arctic Innovation Hub," bridging international actors that have the STI experiences to create adaptation measures for the problems facing Indigenous communities. Building networks between the local universities and foreign specialists such as researchers and engineers would foster opportunities to introduce good practices. At the same time, working together with the local residents, outsiders to the region would learn how society can develop and implement climate solutions using both STI and local traditions....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:An Arctic Innovation Hub Could Help the Region Adapt to Climate Change.” ArcticToday, August 25, 2020.