The Dynamic Nature of Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate-Related Risks and Change: The Iqaluit Land Use Monitoring Project

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Presentation by Dr. James for given to the IPY 2012 conference in Montreal on April 24, 2012

Presentation by Dr. James for given to the IPY 2012 conference in Montreal on April 24, 2012

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  • 1. THE DYNAMIC NATURE OFVULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATIONTO CLIMATE-RELATED RISKS ANDCHANGE: THE IQALUIT LAND USEMONITORING PROJECT Dr James D. Ford, Graham McDowell, Jamal Shirley www.jamesford.ca
  • 2. Background2 ¨  Key theme in scholarship: CC and subsistence hunting ¨  Baseline understanding ¤  Widespread evidence of CC and impacts (safety, food security, culture) ¤  Vulnerability / resilience mediated by socio-economic factors ¨  Deficiencies in understanding (see Ford & Pearce 2012, The Canadian Geographer) ¤  Static understanding yet vulnerability dynamic (e.g. adaptive learning, feedback, thresholds) ¤  Nature of climate - impact links not fully understood ¨  Methodological limitations ¤  Retrospective study design (recall bias, seasonal influences) ¤  Absence of longitudinal studies, reliance of limited field seasons
  • 3. The Iqaluit Land Use Monitoring Project (ILMP)3 ¨  Obtain real-time longitudinal data on Inuit- environment interactions to understand how climate risks are experienced and managed
  • 4. GPS Tracking4 ¨  2 full-time hunters equipped with GPS ¨  2007 – ongoing
  • 5. Regular interviews5 ¨  >100 post hunt interviews ¨  Examine GPS data, review land use, dangers encountered, coping mechanisms employed etc.
  • 6. Accompanied hunting trips6 ¨  Team members go hunting during all seasons
  • 7. Instrumental data7 ¨  Use of local weather station data and CIS ice charts
  • 8. Results: Land-use8¨  2008-2010: >21,000km travel ¤  70% by snowmobile, average trip107km ¤  30% boat, average trip 99km Ford et al (in review, AAAG)
  • 9. Results: Changing env. conditions9 ¨  1982-2010 ¤  50 days later freeze up ¤  70 days more open water ¤  Declining wind predominance ¨  Hunting team ¤  Iceinstability Ford et al (in review, ¤  2010/11 AAAG) extremes
  • 10. Results: Access constraints & opportunities10 ¨  Trail network “choke points” ¨  2010/11 many hunting areas inaccessible Ford et al (in review, AAAG)
  • 11. Results: Terrestrial adaptation11 ¨  Caribou in Amadjuak Lake region in Nov-Jan ¤  Sustainability: hunting pressure, CC, & caribou ¤  Land hazards ( snow, river freeze up (e.g. 2008)) Ford et al (in review, AAAG)
  • 12. Results: General observations (1)12 ¨  Co-occurence of climatic extremes problematic ¤  e.g. Nov-Dec 2010: late freeze-up, 38 days lost to high winds, Amadjuak Lake trail impassible till Dec ¨  High adaptability: flexibility, TK ¨  Hunting team are keystone individuals ¤  Broad importance for Iqaluit ¨  Importance of income: damaged equipment replaced, extra distance costs incurred (e.g. vs Igloolik)
  • 13. Results: General observations (2)13 ¨  Potential for ‘trajectories of maladaptation’ (Fazey et al 2011) ¤  Short-term adaptability may result in long term vulnerability ¤  Donwstream effects: displacing impacts to future ¤  Overspecialized adaptations susceptible to a new stressor (e.g. caribou)
  • 14. Conclusion14 ¨  Analyzed 2008-2010 data (see Ford et al., in review, Annals Assoc. of American Geographers) ¨  Future ¤  Focus on 2010/11 ¤  Continued monitoring ¤  Aim: 10 years
  • 15. Thank You 15 Thank YouAcknowledgments: Josh Atagoyuk, Levi Pisuktie, Udlu Pisuktie, Tristan Pearce, Bill Gough, Rick Siewierski, Sara Statham,Frank Duerden, Mike Pitre, ArcticNet, SSHRC, NRI, IPY