WWF works with communities throughout the Arctic to help them deal with the effects of climate change, support research, and bring northern stories to a global audience.
My community took on the oil industry—and won
Kangiqtugaapik (or Clyde River) is a picturesque community of roughly 1,000 people on the east side of Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. The area is home to various sea mammals, including different species of seal, whale and water fowl. But as Jerry Natanine explains, in 2011, the small community’s way of life, food supply and livelihood were threatened—so the town fought back.Read more
Why it matters
Nowhere on Earth are the immediate effects of climate change felt so intensely. New economic opportunities are coming to the Arctic as oil and gas, shipping, and tourism, while melting permafrost and changes to the patterns of game animals are changing the face of life in the north.
Knowledge comes from many places. In the Arctic, we speak of our work as being “knowledge-based” rather than solely “science-based”. Indigenous peoples of the Arctic have a store of ecological knowledge based on their own observations of the environment, and on information handed down over generations.
WWF encourages the use of this traditional ecological knowledge to inform management policies in the Arctic. We have supported several projects that collect this form of knowledge, helping to provide a more rounded knowledge base.
For thousands of years, Arctic Indigenous peoples have hunted animals for food, clothing, and other essential uses. Hunting is still part of the cultural identity of many northern peoples, and for some, still an essential part of their livelihoods. People still hunt because other foods available to people in northern communities are often less healthy than traditional foods, and too expensive for people to buy.
How we work
Meet the team
The Arctic attracts many people who wish to experience its fantastic wildlife, pristine landscapes and local cultures. No wonder that tourism activities in the region over the last 20 years have experienced an unrivaled growth.
What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth, and the world is already feeling the effects.