Kivalliq Wildlife Board uses Inuit knowledge and Western science to study the impact of climate change on food security

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KANGIQLINIQ (RANKIN INLET), NU, Dec. 9, 2022 /CNW/ – Across Canada’s North and Arctic, climate change is having a profound impact on Arctic ecosystems and food security in remote communities, including risks to Inuit culture, social relations, health, well-being, and a way of life that has lasted for generations.

The Kivalliq Wildlife Board, in partnership with ArctiConnexion and others, has developed a community-based monitoring program to address linkages between climate, marine and terrestrial country food species, and areas of concern identified by Kangiqliniq community members. Science mentorship and skill development were key features of the project, empowering community members as leaders in project implementation.

Today, as the world is gathered in Montreal at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced additional funding of $870,340 over three years for the next phase of this important project.

In Phase 2 of their project, the Kivalliq Wildlife Board will use Elders’ and hunters’ knowledge and scientific approaches to study climate change impacts on food chains, from microscopic marine organisms to changes in availability, quality and diet of country foods, such as Arctic char, ringed seal, bearded seal, beluga whales, and polar bear. With this knowledge, the Kivalliq Wildlife Board aims to develop a plan to mitigate climate impacts on country food access.

The knowledge of residents in Kangiqliniq and Tikiraqjuaq (Whale Cove) of the local ecosystems will be key to guiding this work and identifying solutions to address the challenges.

Quotes

“The development of research projects that are run by Inuit is a big step in monitoring the effects of climate change in ways that Inuit see and feel it. The Kivalliq Wildlife Board is proud to lead projects that will monitor these effects so that our observations can be integrated into our plans in the future.”

Stanley Adjuk, Chair

Kivalliq Wildlife Board

“The vitality of northern and Arctic communities, as well as the Inuit way of life, is in jeopardy because of climate change and its devastating impacts on precious ecosystems. In working to mitigate the effects of climate change, Canada is supporting traditional knowledge holders and researchers so they can come together to identify the changes in country food species and explore solutions to adapt to our evolving climate.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor

Quick facts

  • In Phase 1 of the project, Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) contributed $459,615 through the Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program, and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provided $199,813 in 2019–2022 to support research to analyze connections between climate change, vegetation, caribou, water conditions and the marine food chain.
  • In Phase 2, CIRNAC will contribute an additional $465,520, while ISC will provide $404,820 in 2022–2025 to create an ecosystem-based vision of country foods to develop adaptation measures.
  • Funding from ISC was provided through the Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program, which supports First Nations and Inuit communities in understanding and addressing the climate change impacts on health and well-being. $199,813 was provided during Phase 1, and $404,820 has been provided for Phase 2. Supporting Indigenous leadership and co-developing solutions to address growing concerns over climate change and food security in northern and Arctic communities remains central to advancing the reconciliation journey and self-determination.
  • The Institutions of Public Governance and the co-management approach developed through the Nunavut Agreement are key elements of self-determination. The Kivalliq Wildlife Board operates within this co-management structure.
  • Launched in 2019 and developed with Indigenous representatives and six territorial and provincial governments, Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework is a long-term vision for the Arctic and the North to reflect the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people.
  • Conserving biodiversity and nature is a key priority for the Government of Canada.
  • In 2021, the Government of Canada committed $4.1 billion to nature conservation measures across the country, including Indigenous leadership in conservation.
  • The Government of Canada has invested almost $5 billion in domestic nature-based climate solutions, which help to tackle the dual challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss.
  • Nature-based solutions are programs and projects that conserve and protect our land, and in turn, that conservation and protection of land fights climate change and reduces its impacts.
  • By doing things like investing in conserving and restoring wetlands, grasslands and peatlands, we create natural areas for species, we reduce our carbon emissions and we create natural solutions to help us adapt to our changing climate.
  • Canada has committed to allocate at least 20 percent of its international $5.3-billion climate finance commitment to nature-based climate solutions in developing countries over the next five years.

Associated links

Kivalliq Wildlife Board 

Video: Under the Sea 

Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program 

Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program 

PM welcomes the world to COP15 

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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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