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Co-Producing Sustainability: Knowledge Co-Production, International Collaboration and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (Workshop)


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Project theme
Education & Outreach
Project topic
Education & Outreach

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Science / project summary

This award provides partial support for an international workshop on "Arctic sustainable development and knowledge sharing" in September 2017 in Inari, northern Finland. The goal of the workshop is to promote knowledge integration and to improve understanding of the relationships between knowledge co-production, international collaboration, and sustainable development in the Arctic from science, policy, and community perspectives. The workshop takes place on September 18-20, 2017, immediately prior to the Arctic Council (AC) Sustainable Development Working Group's (SDWG) meeting (September 21-22, 2017). The workshop has been organized to take place prior to the September SDWG meeting in order to facilitate the participation of SDWG member states representatives, Arctic Council Observer organization representatives, Permanent Participant representatives, as well as the AC science working group members. By scheduling the workshop in this way, it will provide for broader participation by key international policy makers, as well as scientists and Indigenous scholars. In addition, this will provide for an economy of scale since a number of the invited participants will already be supported by their organizations to participate in the SDWG meeting. The workshop will produce publicly available materials, which could be used for educational and knowledge dissemination purposes. These will include a final report documenting the essence of the presentations and discussions and a summary for policymakers. During the Canadian Chairmanship of the AC, at the 9th Ministerial Meeting in Iqaluit, 2015, the SDWG made recommendations to the Senior Arctic Officials through the official delivery of the "Recommendations for the Integration of Traditional and Local Knowledge into the Work of the Arctic Council." In the two years since this event, the SDWG and AC have debated how exactly to implement these recommendations. There is wide recognition among the Arctic social science community, Indigenous and non-indigenous scholars, that the new developing model of knowledge co-production in science research could offer a model for assisting the AC in these efforts of the integration of Traditional Knowledge into its work. This workshop would be part of a broader effort between the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council and the Permanent Participants to find common ground on how to incorporate Traditional Knowledge into the proceedings of the Council. An important trend in Arctic sustainability research in the last decade is the increasing integration of the local and Indigenous knowledge as a key component of the Arctic sustainability knowledge system. Knowledge co-production has become the state-of-the-art in Arctic, and Arctic Indigenous scholars and communities are leading the way in developing co-production methodologies and formulating holistic, integrated approaches to understanding coupled and dynamic social-ecological systems. Engaging Indigenous knowledge in scholarship and policymaking is a monumental task that requires combined, collaborative efforts of Indigenous communities, social scientists and policymakers. Building connections and bridges by creating international, interdisciplinary knowledge exchange opportunities among all groups involved is an important element of an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to sustainable development in the Arctic.