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Many Strong Voices (MSV) - Arctic

Submitted by Michael Rastall 2nd April 2014 11:02


Preparing for dog-sledding on frozen sea ice outside Ummannaq

Project description

MSV is a collaborative programme with the goal of promoting the well-being, security and sustainability of coastal communities in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the face of climate change, by bringing these regions together to take action on mitigation and adaptation.The MSV programme is made up of a consortium of partners represented by nearly 20 Arctic and SIDS nations.

The Arctic and SIDS are barometers of global environmental change. As they are on the frontlines of climate change, they are also critical testing grounds for the ideas and programmes that will strengthen the adaptive capacities of human societies confronting climate change. 

Lessons learned through MSV support policy development at local, regional, and international levels. They provide decision-makers in the two regions with the knowledge to safeguard and strengthen vulnerable social, economic, and natural systems.

Why link the Arctic and Small Islands Developing States?

At first glance, the Arctic and Small Island Developing States appear to have little in common. Yet Arctic and SIDS societies share characteristics of vulnerability and resilience, and both of their environments are sensitive to climate change impacts. 

Although natural and human environments in the two regions differ markedly, the effects of climate change threaten the ecology, economies, and the social and cultural fabric of both regions posing serious challenges for their sustainable development. While communities in both regions have adapted to changing conditions in the past, climate change presents a new and formidable challenge. 

The impact of climate change on coastal zones is an important common denominator between the two regions and provides a context for comparing vulnerability and adaptation processes. Developing adaptation strategies that contribute to sustainable development in both regions is the key to their longterm survival. At the same time, successful adaptation requires immediate and deep cuts to global greenhouse gas emissions.