Changing Environment & Human Health
Title: Arctic Community-Based Environmental Monitoring, Observation and Information Stations Phase I: Bering Sea Sub-Network
Summary of Activity
Infrastructure for monitoring and observation by the indigenous and other Arctic residents’ organizations will be created. It will increase capacity and effectiveness of the circum-Arctic monitoring through responding to the need of the long-term collection of data in remote Arctic locations and will act as a portal for CBM in other initiatives, eliminating the duplication of CBM component and as such, serving as a bridge connecting programs. We propose to begin on a sub-regional level and to develop a working model for circum-Arctic use. The Bering Sea is a viable region for the development of the model because the jurisdiction is limited to two Arctic States, U.S. and Russia, which simplifies logistics, the program could utilize the ten-year experience in regional international co-operation in environmental field between indigenous peoples, and Alaskan village and tribal organizations have experience in co-operation with scientists and have access to grant programs in the U.S. that may support their initial participation in the network. BSSN will be set up as a program run by partnering international, regional and local organizations (e.g. AIA, ICC, APIA, Tribal Government of St. Paul, Kamchatka and Chukotka regional associations of RAIPON.) One of these organizations will host a Secretariat. The partners will decide on the most efficient form of organization for the network in the future. A workshop will be held to formalize BSSN formation, to select the Steering Committee and to develop the network protocol containing inter alia a package of documents in English and Russian defining means and methodology for data collection, processing and storage. Participants will be invited from local, regional and research organizations. Community-based organizations from Kamchatka, Chukotka (Russia) and Alaska (U.S.) currently involved in monitoring and research will be invited to join BSSN. All organizations joining BSSN will be provided with materials and training and will be required to follow the protocols established by BSSN. The Secretariat will compile a database of members and will make it available for the international research community to encourage partnerships with members. BSSN member-organizations will assist local residents with organizing their observations into usable data, while assuring compliance with legal requirements protecting intellectual property and privacy and exercising sensitivity to traditional ways of knowing. The second stage of the project will address the need for enhanced research capacities in local communities. Proposals for 2-3 regional research and monitoring stations with laboratory capabilities may be developed. Consortium of operators will be formed to pursue funding for the construction of stations. The process of the formation of BSSN will be open to organizations from other Arctic regions that may begin working on their sub-networks at any time using the model created by BSSN. Emerging sub-networks will create a unified system of community-based monitoring.
Executive Director Victoria Gofman
Aleut International Association, Inc
333 West 4th Avenue, Suite 301, Anchorage
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