11 October 2005, YAKUTSK. On 28-30 September, in Anchorage (Alaska, USA), the third international conference of the project “Snowchange 2005: Indigenous and Local Observations of Ecological and Climate Change” was held. The project was initiated by professor Tero Mustonen from the Polytechnical Institute of Tampere (Finland). Supported by the Arctic Council, it became a priority project of the Northern Forum within the framework of their environmental programme.
About 130 representatives of indigenous, governmental, scientific and public organizations from all Arctic countries gathered to discuss how climate change in different parts of the Arctic is being manifested, which influence it has on the life, traditions and culture of indigenous peoples, and which measures can be taken by states, regional authorities and local communities to mitigate the effects of global warming.
Next year the project will proceed in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), where it will be carried out with longer and more detailed research in previously chosen model areas. In this connection it is necessary to mention that the Nizhnekolymskiy District in Yakutia also is a model area under the large international UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) “Integrated Ecosystem Approach to Conserve Biodiversity and Minimize Habitat Fragmentation in the Russian Arctic” (ECORA). Cooperation between the two projects has been coordinated. Many other possibilities for cooperation with other organizations have been envisaged. These include, for instance, the making of documentary films about the influence of climate change on the life of indigenous peoples, support to educational programmes, and the exchange of delegations.