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Inuit observations on climate change

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G. Ashford
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The Inuit residents of Sachs Harbour, Canada, are struggling to maintain their way of life in the face of climate change. Their lifestyle and culture depends on their ability to adapt to this new challenge. Given the dramatic changes that local people have observed, IISD and the Hunters and Trappers Committee of Sachs Harbour initiated a year-long project to document the problem of Arctic climate change and communicate it to Canadian and international audiences. The project team worked in partnership with specialists from five organisations to develop an innovative method for recording and sharing local observations on climate change. The approach combined participatory workshops, semi-structured interviews, community meetings and fieldwork to better understand the extent of local knowledge of climate change. During the year-long initiative, the project team produced a broadcast-quality video and several scientific journal articles to communicate the negative consequences of climate change in the Arctic and to understand the adaptive strategies that local people are using in response. The science papers document Inuvialuit knowledge on climate change and explore how that knowledge can enrich scientific research in the Arctic. The video follows local people onto the land and sea as they perform traditional activities.