Regional initiatives relevant to Arctic environmental protection occurred mainly through the Arctic Council. The council’s ninth ministerial meeting was held in Iqaluit, Canada, and the council’s six working groups continued their co-operative efforts. Documentation from the ministerial meeting and working groups may be found at the council’s website (http://www.arctic-council.org). Other international activities of note included: efforts by the Arctic five coastal states (Arctic 5) towards preventing unregulated high seas fishing in the central Arctic Ocean (CAO) and enhancing protection of polar bears; convening of the fifteenth session of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council; establishment of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum; and final adoption within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of a Polar Shipping Code.
Inuit living in the Canadian Arctic have undergone rapid societal changes in the last half century, including moving into permanent settlements, the introduction of formal education, participation in the wage-economy, mechanization of hunting and travel, and increased consumption of store-bought foods. Despite these changes, country foods—locally harvested fish and wildlife—continue to be important in the lives of many Inuit for food security. However, fewer people are hunting full-time and some households are without an active hunter, limiting their access to country foods. This shift has increased reliance on processed foods purchased at the store to meet their daily food needs. These foods are often expensive, less nutritious, highly processed to endure long shelf lives, and less desirable than country foods. An entry point to strengthen Inuit food security is to support the acquisition of culturally-appropriate country foods through subsistence hunting and fishing. This entails supporting the transmission of environmental knowledge and land skills important for subsistence among generations, providing harvesters with necessary resources, and securing reliable cold storage in communities (e.g. community freezers) to preserve country foods during increasingly warmer summer months.
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/beaufort-sea-environmental-assessment-1.3490983 The Inuvialuit are pitching a far-reaching scientific and traditional knowledge study that would help researchers better understand how Arctic ecosystems will be affected by climate change, increased shipping and oil and gas development. “We see ourselves as part of the ecosystem, so anything that is going to affect that is going to affect […]