2023 Scholarly Papers
Lill Rastad Bjørst, Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir, Christopher Clarke-McQueen, Jaime DeSimone, Andrea Kraj & Anna Krook-Riekkola
The global green transition has put a new focus on the Arctic region and its resources (eg.energy, minerals, and access to land) at the same time as Arctic communities are looking for development, self-determination, and growth. Arctic infrastructural “fingerprints” will exemplify key considerations within the green transition in a changing arctic climate, with competing visions and framings of what the green transition is about, and the rationale for its need. Global green transition involves resources that may be found in the Arctic. The argument of this paper is built around the position that it is of particular importance to hear, value, integrate, and prioritizes the voices of Arctic Indigenous Peoples and others living in the North. Findings from fieldwork and observations conclude that: 1. The Arctic has a new strategic role because of the green transition, 2. Arctic communities lack physical as well as policy infrastructure for a successful transition, 3. Green transition is not “a one size fits all” in the Arctic. Different communities have different opportunities as well as requirements when it comes to green transition, 4. There is a knowledge gap both in terms of what arctic communities need from a transition and how these needs best could be met, and 5. Green transition can become an important driver of change in the Arctic.
Jeevan Toor, Tagaaq Evaluardjuk-Palmer, & Josée Lavoie
This study draws upon material relating to communities in Inuit Nunangat to explore the impact of the historical environment (i.e. colonialism) on Inuit qanuinngitsiarutiksait (good health and wellbeing) in the context of climate change, through lenses of anthropology, geography and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit knowledge). The negative impact of colonialism on Inuit social and cultural fabric, resulting in diminished and intergenerational knowledge transmission has made it harder to adapt to climatic changes, with resulting impacts exacerbated by existing socioeconomic inequities. Climate change affects qanuinngitsiarutiksait causing poorer mental health, food and water insecurity, rise in diseases and respiratory illness and icerelated accidents. Adaptations to impacts of climate change are discussed, centring Inuit voices and initiatives, and a move from deficit to strength-based research. The Canadian government’s approach to this topic is explored, with recommendations from an Inuit perspective. It is argued that for maintenance of qanuinngitsiarutiksait, a holistic approach to health is required where Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit is considered in collaboration with Inuit. While finding ways to adapt to current climatic realities are notable endeavours, the aim should not be to accept the worsening of the climate, but rather to commit to mitigate, and where possible, reverse the effects of anthropogenic climate change in the Arctic. This work seeks to provide a novel contribution through basis in Inuit concepts, ‘historical environment’ and the synergy of the theoretical approaches of anthropology and geography.
In February 2023, protests erupted in Olso in response to 500 days of inaction by the Norwegian state following the country's Supreme Court rulings regarding the Fosen wind farm project. Though the events of this case remain ongoing, Fosen has been compared in scope to the Alta conflict in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which is considered one of the most significant events in recent Sámi-state relations in Norway. This article takes that comparison as a baseline question and compares both cases as critical junctures, or, in the case of Fosen, the potential thereof. Making use of an adaption of Hillel David Soifer’s model of critical juncture operative conditions, the underlying factors of each case are examined to determine how such politically charged moments come about and what alternative institutional regimes were proposed during these critical pivot points. As this paper discusses, the comparisons between Alta and Fosen are apt, though the material conditions differ substantially. Rather, the ongoing Fosen case highlights the growing conflict between a well-established Indigenous rights regime and green energy policies that risk the tarnishing of the legacy that the events of Alta helped establish.
This article argues for an “existence and survival” dimension of the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. This dimension is supported by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as international and regional human rights law. This article proposes that such an existence and survival dimension should be expressly delineated in the context of climate change impacts. This article then analyses threats to the existence and survival of Arctic Indigenous People posed by climate change impacts as alleged before a variety of international legal fora. The article concludes by discussing possible legal consequences on States for breaches of the existence and survival dimension of self-determination with respect to Arctic Indigenous Peoples.
In today’s rapidly changing world, marked by climate and ecological crises, it is crucial to interrogate, as human species, our most basic notions of nature underpinning our relationship with the natural world reflected in our laws. Recognising how such notions rooted in our laws have traditionally guided our relationship with non-human nature and shaped our assumptions of our role vis-à-vis nature can help to understand the inability of the mainstream (Western) legal system to meaningfully contribute to tackle the climate and ecological crises. In doing so, it is important to acknowledge the historical context amply framed within colonialism, in which the prevalent legal system has been erected and matured in a way to reflect an anthropocentric approach of nature. An anthropocentric legal approach entails a “prevailing ethic, upon which the law is based, [which] is human-based (or anthropocentric), and … has directly contributed to the environmental crisis” (Taylor, 1998: 4). While the anthropocentric legal system is not the only factor contributing to the interlinked climate and ecological crises, law has a central role in shaping collective notions of nature and defining the boundaries of human behaviour towards the non-human natural world. As Grear points out (2015: 225), “[law] is often accused of being resolutely ‘anthropocentric’, of rotating, as it were, around an anthropos (human/man) for whom all other life systems exist as objects.”
Anne Lise Kappel, Peter Hasle, Søren Voxted & Katharina Jeschke
Research knowledge on the management practice of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in Greenlandic companies is limited. As a first study of work environment activities in Greenlandic companies, this article presents the results of a survey of OSH management practice in the private sector (>9 employees) in Greenland.
74% of Greenlandic companies indicate that they want to have a work environment better than required by legislation. However, compliance with OSH legislation is challenged as only 45% meet the requirements for the compulsory risk assessment. Additionally, 69% of the companies claim to have the compulsory safety organization, although only 38% have educated the safety organization as required. For small companies and the regions far away from the capital Nuuk, compliance is even lower. The results point to the specific challenges in Greenland, such as the large distance in the country, hampering the dissemination and enforcement of work environment regulation.
The difficulties for the Greenlandic companies in meeting the basic requirements from the work environment legislation creates a severe challenge for the society. The authorities and the social partners need to develop strategies to reach out to the private sector to secure a safe and healthy work environment. A better adaptation to the specific Arctic context in Greenland is highly pertinent.