ASUS: Arctic Sustainability: A Synthesis of Knowledge

Funded Project Information
Arctic Observing and Research for Sustainability
Type of Project: 
Type 2 - Small Synthesis Grant
Lead PI: 
Andrey Petrov, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, USA
Aileen Espiritu, The Barents Institute, University of Tromsø, Kirkenes, Norway
Klaus Georg Hansen, Ilisimatusarfik, Nuuk, Greenland
Joan Nymand Larsen, Stefansson Arctic Institute, University of Akureyri, Akureyri, Iceland
Rasmus Ole Rasmussen, Nordregio, Stockholm, Sweden
Chris Southcott, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Tatiana Vlasova, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Sponsored by: RCN, NordForsk, RFBR, and NSF

This project brings together an international team of experts from seven Arctic countries to develop an interdisciplinary synthesis and assess the state of knowledge about Arctic sustainability and sustainable development. ASUS will build on the International Polar Year knowledge base and its follow-up projects to provide a comprehensive, inclusive and transdisciplinary synthesis and outline the contours of emerging Arctic sustainability science. ASUS will contribute to conceptual, applied and educational aspects of Arctic sustainability. The team will establish circumpolar collaboration among natural and social scientists and Arctic stakeholders to enable a state-of-the-art synthesis of knowledge aimed at improving health, human development and well-being of Arctic communities while conserving ecosystem structures, functions and resources. ASUS addresses three overarching questions: What is the state of knowledge about sustainability, its meanings and aspects (environmental, cultural, etc.) in the Arctic? How is sustainability attainable in a changing Arctic, and what management and governance practices are most successful? What are the best ways of measuring and monitoring dynamics towards adaptation, thrivability, and sustainability in the Arctic? To bridge knowledge gaps, the project will 1) accomplish knowledge synthesis about Arctic sustainability and sustainable development based on existing case studies and observations made in various Arctic regions; 2) identify interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks providing integrated views of sustainability in the Arctic; 3) identify management and governance practices that are most successful in achieving sustainable development in the Arctic; 4) identify the most suitable monitoring frameworks to measure dynamics towards sustainable development; 5) develop a future research agenda for Arctic sustainability and sustainable development. ASUS will maintain collaborative relationships with Arctic communities, Indigenous organizations, and policymakers by organizing community workshops and coordinating dissemination activities.

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