Globalization and climate change challenges the Arctic communities adaptability and increases vulnerability

Publication: Research - peer-reviewConference abstract in proceedings – Annual report year: 2012


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Globalization and climate change challenges the Arctic communities adaptability and increases vulnerability Kåre Hendriksen, PhD student, Aalborg University, Denmark The previous isolation of the Arctic will change as a wide range of areas increasingly are integrated into the globalized world. Parts of the Arctic are characterized by a relatively high material standard of living that is partially based on economic subsidies from the South, and for a number of Arctic consumers globalization appears primarily as a potential for improved supplies of consumer goods. The massive and growing pressure from multinational companies to exploit the Arctic mineral and oil resources as well as hydro-power in large scale industries appears to (local) governments as a potential for economic growth and thus reduced economic dependence on subsidies from the nation states the Arctic are dependent of. Coinciding climate changes cause an easier access for worldwide market as well as for the extraction of coastal oil and mineral resources. In an attempt to optimize the fishing fleet by economic measures it is centralized to larger units, and the exports of unprocessed fish and shellfish to low wage countries, carrying out the processing before export, are increasing. Although the local populations often are able to adapt to climate change and exploit new seasonal fluxions and species, these developments leaves a series of smaller settlements without proper basis for commercially viable activities and survival. Trusting that heavy industry and oil and mineral extraction can absorb the redundant labor from the subsistence activities and local economies and create economic growth (local) governments are installing economic and other policies leading to a further centralization of the population. There is not necessarily consistency between official political statements and the implemented measures. On top of this the population in smaller settlements has no frame or means to understand the impact of the discussed and applied interventions. They are therefore to some extent left behind and are not included in contemporary developments leaving them with a feeling of being powerless. The consequences of contemporary policies and the problems arising will be illustrated through examples from traditional hunting and fishing districts in Greenland.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICASS VII Abstracts
Publication date2011
StatePublished - 2011


Conference7th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences : Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences beyond the International Polar Year


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