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GRID-Arendal's work addresses the challenges of adapting to rapid climate and environmental changes in these vulnerable parts of the world. Some parts of these regions are warming at twice the rate of the global average, producing record levels of multi-year sea ice loss, melting glaciers in all but a few mountain regions, and thawing permafrost. These shifts are bringing profound and rapid change to millions of people living within these regions and beyond.

Examples of our work in mountains regions include generating new knowledge about the impacts of climate change on water availability, food security, ecosystem function, and societies in the Hindu Kush Himalaya. We have also recently undertaken policy analyses to assess the extent to which climate change adaptation concerns are integrated into national and sectoral development policies and plans for these mountain regions: Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia, East Africa, and Andes. Our past work includes promoting the inclusion of mountain-specific targets in the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the polar regions GRID-Arendal promotes the resilience of reindeer herding societies and enhanced governance of protected areas in Mongolia and the Russian Far East through the Nomadic Herders project. We are assisting people and institutions in the Arctic and other vulnerable regions (e.g. Small Island Developing States) to adapt to the effects of climate change and to tell their stories to the world. We support UN Environment in the Arctic through our role as its Polar Centre of Excellence, and host the President of the University of the Arctic (UArctic).

We specialise in communication and dissemination of scientific projects in the Arctic, such as the flagship Horizon-2020 permafrost project (Nunataryuk), and assist the Arctic Council working groups in its scientific assessments, such as on marine litter.

All of our work is done in partnership with institutions in the regions, and globally through UNEP and its regional offices. Mountain partners include ICIMOD, UNEP-Vienna, CONDESAN and other regional mountain centres. Arctic partners include the University of the Arctic, the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandy (ICR) and other Indigenous Peoples Organisations, Arctic Council, the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), University of Lapland/Arctic Centre, University of Tromsø, and others. 

Status: In progress

Type: Programme

Tags: Pastoralism Indigenous Peoples Mountains polar bear

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