The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

preserved. Their cultural identity can be strengthened through increased cooperation, making use of modern technology. Close cooperation with Iceland’s neighbours in Greenland and the Faroe islands is also of particular importance for Iceland in view of their proximity and similar interests (Heininen, 2011). yy Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands: Strategy for the Arctic 2011-2020: The Strategy notes that some Arctic communities are facing difficult social issues. To deal with adverse social trends, the emphasis on social coherence and integration is central to development in the Arctic (GRID- Arenda, 2012). yy Canada’s “Our North, Our Heritage, Our Future”: Released in 2009, the strategy notes that one of its key priorities is geared towards improving both self-sufficiency and the health of northern communities. It notes that to achieve this requires supporting healthy and vibrant communities and human well-being in the north (Heininen, 2011). yy Sweden’s Strategy for the Arctic Region: A key priority of the Strategy is the human dimension which includes peopleof the regionand their livingconditions. Areas related to culture and traditional ways of life include the impacts of climate change on indigenous cultures and industries, and preservation of Saami languages and traditional knowledge. yy Norway’s Arctic Policy – the High North Vision and Means puts a key focus on safeguarding the language and culture of indigenous peoples. It recognizes that development, internationalization, new industries, and resource exploitation create both challenges and opportunities. Indigenous peoples must be able to participate in the planning processes so traditional use of fisheries and reindeer herding is safeguarded. yy United States Arctic Region Policy seeks to improve the degree to which indigenous communities are consulted and involved in relevant decision-making forums. yy Russia’s Arctic Policy to 2020 and Beyond focuses on improvements to the quality of life and social conditions for indigenous peoples. yy Arctic Policy of France does not include Arctic indigenous and social development as a primary policy objective, although issues affecting northern communities are implicitly addressed in France’s stance on Arctic environment and science. yy The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES 1975), controls and licences the international trade of wildlife species ensuring the protection of natural habitat which indigenous people are dependant on for their livelihood. yy The Stockholm Convention of Persistent Organic Pollutants, entered into force in May 2004, contributes to increased public awareness on the impact and presence of harmful

POPs on indigenous communities and their subsequent health and welfare.

yy The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People addresses issues such as identity, language, health, traditional livelihoods, connectivity and education, and provides guidance on harmonious, cooperative relationships with Indigenous peoples. It also states that the right to self- determination of indigenous peoples implies the right to autonomy or self-government and rights to lands, territories and resources. yy The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Conventions 1989 recognizes peoples’ aspiration to exercise control over their own institutions, ways of life and economic development and to maintain and develop their identities, languages and religions, within the framework of the States in which they live. Social security schemes shall be extended progressively to cover the peoples concerned, and applied without discrimination against them. yy The Convention on Biological Diversity recognizes that many indigenous and local communities interact closely with biological diversity. They contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity through their role as natural resource managers. Traditional knowledge should be respected and maintained and benefits arisen from their utilization should be equitable shared. yy The EU Strategy on the Arctic Region gives a clear indication of EU support to indigenous peoples and local populations with the statement that “Arctic indigenous peoples in the EU are protected by special provisions under European Community Law”. 8.1.3 Role of Satellite Systems COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS (Impact High) The need for efficient and modern communication technology in isolated northern communities is considerable, and access to affordable, reliable communication infrastructure can play a role in improving the lives of northern communities. Space based satellite communication facilities can be used to contact emergency services, increase contact among indigenous groups and tie them together, strengthen feelings of identity, increase economic prospects thru e-commerce, and increase indigenous peoples’ political participation. The need for accurate, timely weather forecasts to ensure safe travel and plan daily activities is essential for inhabitants of northern communities. Northern residents rely heavily on traditional modes of life (e.g. hunting, fishing), and the knowledge of expected and actual weather along travel routes is essential component of northern life. While indigenous communities have a wealth of traditional knowledge concerning expected and experienced states of the environment, that knowledge cannot always be relied upon because of the uncertain impacts of climate change. As a result, WEATHER SYSTEMS (Impact Medium)


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