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Thawing Permafrost in Arctic Coastal Communities

Joan Nymand Larsen, Peter Schweitzer, Khaled Abass, Natalia Doloisio, Susanna Gartler, Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Jón Haukur Ingimundarson, Leneisja Jungsberg, Alexandra Meyer, Arja Rautio, Johanna Scheer, Ulla Timlin, Jean-Paul Vanderlinden, Magali Vullierme

Thawing permafrost creates risks to the environment, economy and culture in Arctic coastal communities. Identification of these risks and the inclusion of the societal context and the relevant stakeholder involvement is crucial in risk management and for future sustainability, yet the dual dimensions of risk and risk perception is often ignored in conceptual risk frameworks. In this paper we present a risk framework for Arctic coastal communities. Our framework builds on the notion of the dual dimensions of risk, as both physically and socially constructed, and it places risk perception and the coproduction of risk management with local stakeholders as central components into the model. Central to our framework is the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration. A conceptual model and processual framework with a description of successive steps is developed to facilitate the identification of risks of thawing permafrost in a collaboration between local communities and scientists. Our conceptual framework motivates coproduction of risk management with locals in the identification of these risks from permafrost thaw and the development of adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
External organisation(s)
Stefansson Arctic Institute, University of Akureyri, University of Oulu, Menoufia University, Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), University of Copenhagen, Nordregio – Nordic Centre for Spatial Development, University of the Arctic
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
504017 Cultural anthropology, 504008 Ethnography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Environmental Science (miscellaneous), Geography, Planning and Development, Energy Engineering and Power Technology, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 13 - Climate Action
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