Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Inuit Adaptation

If you live, like the Inuit people, near the Arctic Circle, and have for countless generations, global warming threatens every aspect of your life and culture. As winter ice disappears, permafrost melts, wildlife changes and the climate you've known seems to have disappeared, you can bet that it's stressful and disorienting.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development has created a new project called Community Adaptation and Sustainable Livelihoods - a site I'm including in this blog's links section.

A report on a year-long project to examine the adaptation needs of the Inuit describes the new environment:

New species of birds such as barn swallows and robins are arriving on the island. In the nearby waters, salmon have been caught for the first time. On the land, an influx of flies and mosquitoes are making life difficult for humans and animals.
The Inuit are among the vanguard cultures facing up to dramatic change with only the hope that global action can make that change temporary. The outlook isn't good, though. Several generation may have to leave tradition - and maybe location - behind as desperate adaptation measures. Some future generation my have to re-learn the Inuit ways when the ice cap and permafrost are restored. As to the polar bear and the rest of Arctic wildlife...just save that DNA, OK?

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