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Research Plan for the Study of Rapid Change, Resilience and Vulnerability in Social-Ecological Systems of the Arctic

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Kofinas, Gary P.
Journal: The Common Property Resource Digest
Volume: 73
Date: 2005
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2965
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Subject(s): social-ecological systems
arctic regions
Abstract: "How can research best address the challenges of Arctic sustainability in a world of rapid change? What determines the limitations of adaptation when a system is approaching a critical threshold? What are the social-ecological consequences when critical thresholds are crossed and new conditions emerge? How best do we frame the analysis of vulnerabilities? How can we best structure human institutions and social organization to build resilience and facilitate adaptation in conditions of rapid change? And how should Arctic residents engage in this research? These questions reflect a broad set of issues that motivated our group to gather in Vancouver, Canada this past April, 2005, and begin developing an international research plan to explore issues of rapid change and sustainability through an analysis of resilience and vulnerability of Arctic social-ecological systems. We are one of several working groups preparing for the upcoming Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP-2), scheduled to take place in Copenhagen in November 2005. Our draft research plan, modified for this issue of The Digest, is intended to stimulate discussion among the northern researcher community and arctic residents about the key themes worthy of study. "Our definition of the Arctic is aimed at capturing the social, economic, political, and ecological processes that are critical properties for the functioning of the Arctic System. Thus, we do not limit the definition of Arctic to more restrictive definitions, such as that region north of the Arctic Circle or north of tree line, but view it as a region integrated within the Global System."

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