Snow cover and the loss of traditional indigenous knowledge

Indigenous reindeer herding in the circumpolar North is threatened by multiple drivers of environmental and social changes that affect the sustainability of traditional family-based nomadic use of pastures. These impacts are exacerbated by indigenous peoples’ lack of voice in governance strategies, management and adaptation responses.

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Fig. 1: Changes in spring temperature and snow cover.
Fig. 2: Periods of goavvi.


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This study is part of the project ‘Rapid change — challenges or opportunities for sustainable reindeer husbandry’ (Rievdan), supported by the Research Council of Norway (grant no. 238326) and EU H2020 Interact (grant no. 730938). We express our appreciation of the reindeer herders and research participants who shared their time, experiences and perspectives with us.

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Correspondence to Inger Marie Gaup Eira.

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Eira, I.M.G., Oskal, A., Hanssen-Bauer, I. et al. Snow cover and the loss of traditional indigenous knowledge. Nature Clim Change 8, 928–931 (2018).

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