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  1. Oddsdóttir, Embla Eir ; Ágústsson, Hjalti Ómar (Ed.)
    Enabling gender equality by empowering all genders to effectively participate in modern society is one of the most important advances towards sustainable development, encompassing equal representation in the political office, labor market, and civil society (Sustainable Development Goal 5, or SDG5). The goal of this chapter is to improve understanding of gender empowerment issues in the Arctic at the national, regional, and local levels, and to identify concrete strategies for political, economic, and civic gender empowerment, and thereby facilitate sustainable policy making for the Arctic.
  2. Addressing the need for convergence of different sources of knowledge to deal with complex issues such as global change, this paper presents the results of collaboration between artists and scientists to study social-ecological-technological systems (SETS). We focus on informal roads as an example of SETS. In the absence of public roads local, mostly indigenous communities and others use these forestry roads, seismic line clearings and oil and gas service roads for mobility in Siberian taiga affected by extractive industry. In 2020, with COVID-19, we had to increase our emphasis on virtual forms of data gathering, interpretation, and representations of themore »results. Presented in this paper forms of transmedia storytelling are designed to allow audience and users as well as the local and indigenous communities to get familiar with the research results, give feedback, and provide their own perspectives, interrelations and interdependencies between different SETS components.« less
  3. Road infrastructure development is an existing, but not a frequent element of extractive industry benefit-sharing frameworks in remote northern regions. However, it is often at the center of extractive activity and inflicts major impact on environment and communities. This paper examines the benefits and impacts derived from development of informal roads, i.e., vehicular roadways beyond the current publicly-governed road networks constructed, maintained and/or used by various entities and individuals based on private, special purpose and/or informal practices and regulations. Based on several field studies, GIS analysis of road networks and examination of secondary sources, the article investigates the use ofmore »informal roads as a form of benefit-sharing and details their impact on mobilities, environment and livelihoods of local and indigenous communities in the Irkutsk Oil and Gas region, Russia. We argue that construction, maintenance and use of the industry-built roads can be a part of benefit-sharing agreements, albeit mostly semi-formal and negotiated. The gains and problems stemming from ‘trickle-down’ (i.e., unintended) effects of the road networks are the most significant. The community-relevant implications of informal roads go far beyond immediate impacts on surrounding environment, but deeply affect subsistence activities, mobility, food security, personal safety and even consumer preferences of the indigenous residents.« less
  4. Road infrastructure development is an existing, but not a frequent element of extractive industry benefit-sharing frameworks in remote northern regions. However, it is often at the center of extractive activity and inflicts major impact on environment and communities. This paper examines the benefits and impacts derived from development of informal roads, i.e., vehicular roadways beyond the current publicly-governed road networks constructed, maintained and/or used by various entities and individuals based on private, special purpose and/or informal practices and regulations. Based on several field studies, GIS analysis of road networks and examination of secondary sources, the article investigates the use ofmore »informal roads as a form of benefit-sharing and details their impact on mobilities, environment and livelihoods of local and indigenous communities in the Irkutsk Oil and Gas region, Russia. We argue that construction, maintenance and use of the industry-built roads can be a part of benefit-sharing agreements, albeit mostly semi-formal and negotiated. The gains and problems stemming from ‘trickle-down’ (i.e., unintended) effects of the road networks are the most significant. The community-relevant implications of informal roads go far beyond immediate impacts on surrounding environment, but deeply affect subsistence activities, mobility, food security, personal safety and even consumer preferences of the indigenous residents.« less
  5. While researchers of social-ecological systems acknowledge existence of formal and informal institutions affecting social-ecological governance, the role of informal sector in the land use change remains understudied. Moreover, existing studies of informal land use are focused mostly on urban areas, such as informal settlements. We argue that the remote regions would be another important area for inquiries. Informal, e.g. unobserved by official records, land use changes there are related to high-speed dynamics of resource extraction projects and location mostly in the regions of traditional land use practices of indigenous people. In particular, we focus on informal roads, which in themore »Arctic and Subarctic remote regions often remain understudied due to their small size, chaotic, temporal or even seasonal nature, private ownership or traditional subsistence functions. Despite their absence on official maps, they have significant social, economic and environmental impact on local, predominantly indigenous, communities. The study area: the north of Irkutsk region and Republic of Buryatia that the last decades has undergone rapid changes of traditional way of life of "old settlers", native Buryats and Evenks, collapse of the Soviet economy, development of oil and gas extractive industries and infrastructure, environmental regulations to protect the Lake Baikal and tourism development. The data was obtained in 2016-2018 at the municipal and local levels using interviews, observations, statistics and cartographic tools. As a result, we identified formal and informal elements of transportation infrastructure with common set of characteristics (e.g. time of development; purpose; present conditions; changes in location; use) and distinguished the specifics of their maintenance requirements, the forms of ownership, seasonality and local traditions. The future plans to use remotely-sensed data, coordinated visual mapping sessions, and field studies for understanding land use changes due to development of informal road networks will be discussed in the presentation.« less
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023