Infusing inuit and local knowledge into the low impact shipping corridors: An adaptation to increased shipping activity and climate change in Arctic Canada

Jackie Dawson, Natalie Carter, Nicolien van Luijk, Colleen Parker, Melissa Weber, Alison Cook, Kayla Grey, Jennifer Provencher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ship traffic has nearly tripled in the Canadian Arctic over the past decade and additional growth is expected as climate change continues to increase navigability in the region. In response, the Canadian Government is developing Low Impact Shipping Corridors as an adaptation strategy that supports safety and sustainability under rapidly changing environmental conditions. The corridors are specified voluntary maritime routes where services and infrastructure investments are prioritized. While a large amount of data from different sources were used to establish the location of the corridors, important local and traditional knowledge from Arctic communities has yet to be considered in much detail. The Arctic Corridors and Northern Voices (ACNV) project was established in response to this fundamental gap in knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to outline perspectives and recommendations for the corridors from 13 Canadian Inuit communities across Inuit Nunangat (Inuit homeland) that were involved in the ACNV project through a series of participatory community mapping exercises. A summary of the recommendations for the corridors that emerged from communities is presented including spatial representations for: 1) preferred corridors, 2) areas to avoid, 3) restrictions by season, 4) modification of vessel operation and 5) areas where charting is needed. The findings of the study further reiterate the vital need for meaningful inclusion of northern voices and science alongside federal government agencies in the development of Arctic shipping policy and governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Volume105
Early online date19 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Arctic shipping
  • Climate change
  • Coastal
  • Inuit
  • Low impact corridors
  • Marine

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