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“Arctic Week” is a week-long international conference that provides transdisciplinary approaches to climate and environmental changes in the Arctic. It aims to offer an overview of different challenges in the Arctic regions, as understood by Arctic peoples and researchers. Seeking to pursue the interdisciplinary approach to environmental and climate changes initiated at the first conference, a second conference combining the humanities, the social sciences, indigenous knowledge, and the environmental sciences will be hosted from 9 to 13 December 2019 at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (Paris) with the participation of indigenous peoples and international students.
CREATING SYNERGIES BETWEEN THE SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
The idea of the Arctic Week is to create synergies between social and environmental scientists and between scientists and Arctic indigenous peoples while also engaging students and youth in these projects. It is also very important to hold public events and photography exhibitions in order to raise public awareness in France about Arctic climate change and biodiversity issues.
MAKING THE VOICES OF ARCTIC INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HEARD
The participation of Arctic indigenous peoples from Siberia, Northern Europe, Greenland, Alaska and Canada is crucial for the conference because they are frontline witnesses of the profound effects that global and climate changes are having on the environment: they want their knowledge and observations to be heard. Several scientific projects in the Arctic have proven the valuable input of indigenous knowledge systems: the latter should be fully involved in and recognised by the scientific community.
The participation of students (including from Master 2 Arctic Studies) – as future direct or indirect actors in the Arctic (early career scientists, economic agents or policy makers) – is central for the organization of the Arctic Week. It is crucial to convince students of the importance of the Arctic on international environmental, economic, social and cultural levels, and to have them heavily engage with transdisciplinarity and indigenous knowledge as means for improving sustainability and adaptive practices related to climate change and biodiversity.