Project Listing

Education Outreach and Communication - inactive
Title: Pressures and Impacts on the Health and Well-being of Indigenous People of the Arctic: Invitational International Symposium and Symposium Publication fp

Summary of Activity

Extensive research, completed in all eight Arctic countries (Greenland/Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and USA/Alaska), is now available on contaminant levels (persistent organic pollutants and metals), social and cultural change, climate change impacts and disease rates in human populations. Much of this research also examines specific ‘change factors’ or pressures. The majority of this work has been reported or published through the assessment reports of the Arctic Council of circumpolar nations; however, integrating and communicating the various streams of research disciplines has been difficult.

Understanding the full extent of single subject influences, such as contaminant loadings, disease pathogens or climate change, on the health of indigenous populations is a complex task. The complexity is not just in the intricate relationships between effects, response, gender and age, but also in how these impacts may be enhanced or mitigated by other factors (diet, lifestyle, economic change, cultural values, etc). The Arctic Council recognized this complexity and has called for more multi-disciplinary research and evaluation of multi-factoral influences on the health of Arctic people in 2000 and a more integrated approach through an Arctic Human Health Initiative (AHHI) in 2004.

This project will draw together new and established scientists and policy makers in an international symposium at the end of the IPY. Invited speakers and paying participants will contribute to presentations, posters, and rich panel discussion on 8 selected health themes relevant to Indigenous People. The results of the symposium will be written up in a comprehensive scientific report that addresses the cutting edge of known and predicted health implications of changing economic, social, physical, and environmental conditions in the Arctic.

This project is a component of the AHHI (already endorsed as a coordinating proposal # 167 by the IPY Secretariat) and follows on from an international state of science meeting on contaminant impacts (Proposal # 145, also endorsed by the IPY Secretariat). There is no direct field work component for this Project, however, the Symposium will take place at the University of Aarhus, Denmark through the Centre for Arctic Environmental Medicine. Individual researchers will be conducting their health impact studies in all eight Arctic countries, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.


Lead Contact
Dr Andrew Gilman
University of Ottawa, Population Health Institute (Research Fellow)
571 Hilson Avenue, Ottawa, ON
K1Z 6C9
Tel:          613 728-1141
Mobile:   N/A
Fax:         N/A

Second Contact
Prof Jens Hansen
Centre for Arctic Environmental Medicine, Aarhus University
Vennelyst Boulevard 6, 8000 Aarhus C
8000 C
Tel:          +45 8942 6160
Mobile:   N/A
Fax:         N/A

ID number: FP 433
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