BSC leads a project to co-develop climate services with Arctic communities

MAR 3 2022

By Marta Terrado

The ArcticXchange project will explore how climate predictions for the next weeks and months can inform the planning and management practices of reindeer herders.

The ArcticXchange service contract has kicked off on the 1st of March 2022. The service, funded by the EU-PolarNet 2 project, is led by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) in Spain, in partnership with the Arctic Centre in the University of Lapland, Finland. It has the objective to co-produce knowledge that will benefit the adaptation and decision-making of Arctic reindeer herding communities in the context of climate change.

Reindeer husbandry is currently practiced in many Arctic territories by more than 20 different ethnic groups. Decision-making within the reindeer herding community has been traditionally based on indigenous and practitioners’ knowledge, passed on from one generation to the next. Despite reindeer herders are used to coping with adverse weather and grazing conditions, today’s rapidly changing Arctic environment poses new challenges for the management of herding activities.

ArcticXchange partners will co-develop a case study for reindeer husbandry in Finnish Lapland. The case study will explore how climate predictions for the next weeks and months can inform the planning and management practices of reindeer herders. If appropriately integrated with the traditional knowledge that Arctic communities rely on, this new scientific knowledge will help enhance the capacity of these communities to deal with climate change and variability.

The project will also engage with the Palojärvi reindeer herding cooperative in Finland to learn about the real needs of stakeholders regarding the future prediction of particular weather and climate conditions. A survey will be launched to assess the needs for future forecasts and better understand the challenges of integrating scientific with traditional knowledge. In addition, a roundtable discussion involving reindeer herders and policy makers will be organised to analyse how climate services can support the adaptation of the reindeer herding sector while informing Arctic regulations.

This work has received funding from the EU-PolarNet 2 (grant agreement no. 101003766) service contracts.