The goal of the meeting was to outline a white paper that elaborates on the current state of sustainability and sustainable development in the Arctic, while identifying related knowledge gaps and research priorities for the next decade. Important sections of the white paper are to include a historical overview of the concepts of sustainability in global and Arctic contexts, a progress report on research related to sustainability, and an outlook on sustainability research by the year 2025.
The workshop sessions broadly resembled the outline of the white paper. Group discussions and break-out sessions built and refined the structure of the white paper, accompanied by an identification of relevant literature. In order to evaluate the state of research on sustainability in the Arctic, participants reviewed science plans released by ICARP II in 2005. Of particular interest were science plans focusing on economic development, indigenous considerations, social-ecological change, and research processes and research communication, among others. Based on their expertise workshop participants paid attention to progress accomplished in addressing research questions and priorities relevant to sustainability and sustainable development crafting a matrix through ranking areas from A (research problem resolved) to B (good progress), C (some progress), and D (no progress). The matrix further informed discussions on theory and methodologies concerning sustainability research.
Upon juxtaposing progressed and under-researched areas of sustainability and sustainable development, workshop participants identified several research priorities to be expanded on in the white paper. These include, but are not limited to, a special focus on methodology, synthesis, indicators, governance, and ecological dimensions. A first full draft of the white paper will be presented at the ICARP III conference in Toyama, Japan. The conference takes place from April 27-30
List of participants (in alphabetical order):
Shauna BurnSilver, Global School of Sustainability, Arizona State University
Terry Chapin, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Gail Fondahl, Department of Geography, University of Northern British Columbia
Kathrin Keil, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam
Annika Nilsson, Stockholm Environment Institute
Andrey Petrov, Department of Geography, University of Northern Iowa
Rudy Riedlsperger, Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Peter Schweitzer, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna
AMRDI Arctic Coordinator