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Climate change responsibilities in polar peoples: the Inuit Case

1. Factual background

Climate change is already occurring in the Arctic and could be devastating for the Inuit. In fact, its effects are already noticeable. Anumber of life-altering changes have taken place in Inuit societies lasting recent years, changes that can only be explained by changes in weather patterns.

The Inuits, who number almost 155,000, inhabit the Artic region of Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Chukotka in the far east of Russia. In terms of nature’s time scales, they have suddenly been forced to reconsider their traditional life styles and make significant adaptations in response to current changes in climatic conditions. Their adaptability is facilitated by traditional Inuit knowledge, strong social networks, flexibility in the use of resources, and institutional support. Changing Inuit livelihoods, however, have undermined certain aspects of their adaptive capacity and this has resulted in emerging vulnerabilities.

 Click here for the factsheet (5 pages): FS_044_Inuit Case