Ecosystem management strategies vary worldwide and depend on the success of management in obtaining the desired ecosystem properties and services. Despite environmental policies enacted at the global, regional and local levels, ecosystem degradation continues at an accelerating rate. Ecosystem change has consequences for local people that depend on these resources, and necessitates alternative approaches to analyzing the effectiveness of different management practices.
The tundra biome, covering most of the circumpolar arctic, is characterized by relatively simple and unproductive ecosystems. An acceleration of ecosystem change is anticipated in these biomes, as a result of climate change and increased anthropogenic pressure, such as the extraction of oil and gas resources. The response of the ecoystem to these changes depend on many factors, including the level of human development (e.g. the economy, education and health) and existing management practices (e.g. the degree of co-management and decentralization, the use of management tools, and property rights).
The research program TUNDRA thus links ecological and social sciences in a cross-disciplinary study design founded on governance-based contrasts and anthropogenic drivers. Anthropogenic drivers in tundra ecosystems can directly impact ecosystem properties (e.g. land use, harvesting and pollution) and act as underlying indirect drivers (e.g. governance and socio-economic conditions). In this study, we use a comparative spatial approach to study the countries and regions of the circumpolar arctic. Four countries and thirteen administrative regions with large amounts of low arctic or alpine tundra are included in the project: Norway (Finnmark and Troms counties), Canada (The province of Quebec, and Nunavut, Northwest and Yukon Territories), USA (Alaska) and Russia (Murmanskaya Oblast, Nenetskiy Autonomous Okrug, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Taimyrskiy Autonomous Okrug, Sakha Republic and Chukotskiy Autonomous Okrug).
Read the project description at TUNDRA CROSSCUT