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WP7. Archaeology, indigenous peoples, governance, law, health

This WP represents collaboration with ARTS, BSS and HEALTH.

The collaboration with ARTS will focus on exploring the potential of using historical climatological records such as ships’ logs, diaries, trading station reports, photographs and paintings as evidence for changing environmental conditions in the Arctic. Archaeological aspects related to climate change (increasing thawing) and erosion of coastal sites in the Arctic where sea ice disappearance increase wave activity and erosion will also be in focus. In addition and in collaboration with WP3, the link between past human activity and its legacies on vegetation development will be central. In addition, close collaboration on climate change issues between ARC and local communities and institutions in the Arctic, in particular Greenland, will be a central concern.

The collaboration with BSS will focus on environmental law and governance perspectives on maritime activities. These risks are especially imminent when it comes to potential oil spills. A tight collaboration with ST will focus on how to minimize the harmful effects of oil spills on ecosystem function and biodiversity as well as local communities. Focus will be on how to design a regulatory framework to be compatible with the fluctuations in global demand for oil and gas and with the possible climatic scenarios, while being attentive to local community needs. We will also explore the issue of heritage protection in light of increasing degradation due to erosion and/or thawing.

Health effect studies have found that exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) affect the immune, neuro-endocrine and reproductive systems in humans. We will combine human and environmental studies to explore if there a correlation between POP trends in marine mammals and humans. To elucidate these health aspects further interdisciplinary collaboration will focus on the relation between contaminants, change in life-style, diabetes and climate change.

WP7 lead. Felix Riede (ARTS)