The special issue of Arctic Yearbook is now available online at https://arcticyearbook.com. CoDeL’s contribution, one of 15 scholarly papers, is available here. It builds on CoDeL’s extensive research across the Northern Periphery and Arctic during Covid, and applies the insights from the Covid research to the even greater challenges of the twin climate and biodiversity emergencies. The abstract and the link to the full article follows below.
The Arctic Yearbook will host a webinar to officially launch this collection on 7th September 2023 (1100 to 1230 EST) and an in person event during Arctic Circle in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Challenging dominant narratives to enable effective responses to pandemics and other crises in rural and island communities by Thomas Fisher and Theona Morrison
This article strongly evidences the need to transform narratives and perspectives on rural, island and indigenous communities, and the many elements for such transformation that are already in place. We start by summarising extensive research conducted during COVID-19 on communities across the Northern Periphery and Arctic that turned what are often regarded as the challenges of peripherality to their advantage as resilience factors. In the process, they challenged many economic frameworks that have long dominated development policy for ‘remote’ regions. We then examine emerging research on dominant paradigms that are driving responses to the climate and biodiversity emergencies. Once again, these paradigms are often not rooted in the lived experience and (inherited) knowledge of local peoples and communities, who manage the vast majority of our natural assets. This leads to the wrong ‘solutions’ which can directly threaten rural, island and indigenous communities while not delivering positive outcomes for the climate and biodiversity. The call to “redefine peripherality” is backed by extensive evidence, and makes a series of recommendations for a more integrated, holistic and sustainable approach to peripheral communities, building on their many assets, strengths and resources. Likewise, many voices, from local communities to international bodies, are calling for more effective responses to the climate and biodiversity emergencies that incorporate the worldviews of indigenous peoples and local communities who have so much to contribute.
Transforming dominant narratives cannot happen until we genuinely listen and respond to the voices of rural, island and indigenous peoples within the Arctic and beyond.