UNESCO Reports on Climate Change Research in the Arctic

UNESCO19 December 2011: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has reported on a collaborative Climate Frontlines research project involving the French Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle and Sami reindeer herders, which focused on the impact of climate change on the forests and animal species of the North, as well as potential solutions that different stakeholders are advocating.

The Laponian Area World Heritage Site, in the Arctic Circle region of Northern Sweden, is the home of the Sami, or Lapp people. According to UNESCO, the research has contributed to an understanding of the impacts of climate change on Sami reindeer herders and different coping strategies available. In particular, UNESCO reports that changes in the climate create a crust of hard ice over the lichen, preventing the reindeers from eating. Sami have tried to adapt in a few ways, most commonly to gather the thousands of reindeer into an enclosure and feed them with livestock feed. [UNESCO Press Release]