Navigation Links
Seeking sustainability in a world of instability

FAIRBANKS, AlaskaFor most northern indigenous people, the roughly 3 million caribou in the world are their most important terrestrial subsistence resource, and while hunters and scientists alike have long expressed concern about the on-going availability of caribou, their perceptions of the causes of change have differed.

For years people have managed natural resources based on their knowledge of how ecosystems have functioned in the past, which assumes conditions of equilibrium, said Gary Kofinas, a resource policy and management scientist and director of the Resilience and Adaptation Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Today we are facing an unprecedented suite of possible changes affecting caribou and humans and with that considerable uncertainty, Kofinas said. Under the calving grounds of the Western [Alaska] Arctic Herd is one of the largest low-sulfur coal deposits in the world. The Teshekpuk Lake area of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the calving grounds of the Teshekpuk Herd, is facing proposed oil development, and as you continue east across North America from calving ground to calving ground, you find activities or proposed activities for development of uranium and diamond mines, access roads, and other gas and oil development.

We also find that while university researchers are focused on climate change, agency resource managers are focused on development. To understand the future of this important resource, we all need to consider how climate change will interact with human change on the landscape, Kofinas said.

Kofinas will present Melding Social and Ecological Sustainability: Human-Caribou Systems Facing Rapid Change at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting Sunday, Feb. 17 in Boston.

Since the 1980s, several formal community-state co-management arrangements were established, in part, to resolve historic conflicts between traditional caribou users and managers using only scientific management. Ongoing changes in climate, land use and land claims settlements are testing the effectiveness of co-management to achieve regional consensus on how best to respond.

Groups cant just act as individuals, and they cant just share decision making, we need to think carefully about systems of adaptive co-management where we are challenging each other and learning from each other, Kofinas said. If we take the idea of achieving sustainability in a world of instability seriously, we have to work toward resource management systems that facilitate a kind of social learning that brings local and traditional knowledge together with the very best science.

Kofinas and colleagues from across the North founded the CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment network which is a collaboration among communities, scientists and governments from across the arctic to monitor change, exchange information, compare regional differences, build decision-support tools, and report on the status and use of wild caribou across the North.


Contact: Marie Gilbert
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Related biology news :

1. Missouri board grants Washington University Sustainability Center $3 million
2. Biofuels Sustainability
3. Food and environmental sustainability focus of ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meetings
4. Alaska graduate program in sustainability receives $3.2 million award
5. Quantum weirdness, parallel worlds, dinosaur poop, and the ultimate fate of the universe...
6. Big Mac: The whole world on your plate
7. Worlds largest investor coalition seeks further disclosure on climate change and shareholder value
8. American food: Still the best deal in the world
9. DOE JGI releases soybean genome assembly to enable worldwide bioenergy research efforts
10. World-leading journal publishes special issue on UN/GA
11. Worlds biggest heart model simulated at Université de Montréal
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 9, 2015 Research and Markets ... Research, Inc,s new report "Biometrics: Market Shares, Strategies, ... --> --> The ... the Biometrics market segment. Research represents a selection from ... and cogent market materials, with selections made by the ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... Oct. 8, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... solutions, announced today that it will report financial ... on Thursday, October 22, 2015, after the close ... conference call for analysts and investors at 2:00 ... may discuss forward-looking information. ...
(Date:10/6/2015)... 6, 2015 Track Group, Inc. (OTCQX: TRCK), ... has signed a contract with the Virginia Department of ... range of sentences under the Department,s oversight. ... "This contract with the Virginia DOC will expand our ... advances our position as a trusted leader in offender ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), the leading regenerative ... to develop and market advanced products and therapies for ... and the Dental sectors of healthcare, announced today the ... Company has been dismissed by the court.  ... "As we suspected, this case was brought by an ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... cell surface marker detection market is expected ... new report by Grand View Research, Inc. This growth in ... diseases and other cell-associated disorders. --> cell surface ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ... to rise in incidence of oncology diseases and other cell-associated ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... DIEGO , Oct. 12, 2015  Patara ... debilitating allergic and inflammatory diseases and conditions, today ... A preferred stock financing. Concurrent with the close ... entered into a Loan and Security Agreement with ... up to $7 million. Patara will use the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Belgium , Oct. 12, 2015 ... results from a completed clinical study of its NuQ ® ... published in the online issue of Clinical Epigenetics , ... study was conducted in collaboration with Lund ... Roland Andersson , MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: