Linking the Scientific Knowledge on Arctic Change to That of Aboriginal Peoples: Vulnerability and Adaptation of Societies and the Environment

(BRISK - ANR -12- SENV -0005 -01)

The BRISK project is developing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methods as well as tools for establishing synergies between science and indigenous knowledge on the effect of global climate change on the Arctic. It allows a new assessment of environmental, economic, social and political impacts, of vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies. It helps to share knowledge and unlocks an understanding between natural and social sciences, between scientific and indigenous knowledge, and between the scientific community and policy makers.

BRISK is based on case studies in Lapland (Norwegian and Swedish) and Siberia (southern Yakutia / Love, Tuva Republic) among reindeer herders. BRISK develops innovative observation methodologies by establishing indigenous observation systems for environmental and social changes that allow the production of knowledge.

This transdisciplinary approach (combining local, climatological, geographical, ecological, and anthropological knowledge) based on the complementary aspect of indigenous and scientific knowledge. The project combines approaches to micro and macro scales by engaging partners at the international, national, regional and local level.

BRISK documents the key factors of vulnerability and local resilience to produce recommendations to improve local and international adaptation policies by comparing two types of reindeer herding. While these two types operate in different economic and political settings, but both face, in addition to climate change, global changes caused by international, national, and regional policies and the expansion of extractive industries.


  • Université de Versailles St. Quentin-en-Yvelines
    • CEARC
      • Dr. Alexandra Lavrillier (social and cultural anthropology) – coordinator
      • Maxence ROJO ( PhD climatology and anthropology)
      • ​​Prof. Sébastien GADAL (Geography Remote Sensing)
    • LSCE
      • Prof. Valérie Masson - DELMOTTE ( climatology)
  • UNESCO, Paris
    • Local and Indigenous Knowledge System (LINKS) Programme
      • Prof. Douglas NAKASHIMA
  • Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN), Paris
    • Laboratoire Éco-Anthropologie et Ethnobiologie, CNRS
      • Prof. Marie ROUE
  • AgroParisTech / Université Paris-Sud, Paris
    • Dr. Samuel ROTURIER (ethnobiology)
  • École Polytechnique (Palaiseau) / École Normale Supérieure / Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris
    • Laboratoire Météorologie Dynamique (LMD)
      • Prof. Chantal CLAUD (climatoligie)



French version, see here

An article about this project (Octobre 30, 2014), see here (in French)