The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) under the support of the Intersectoral Platform "UNESCO's Contribution to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation" has developed and launched a new website "Climate Change Adaptation: Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples Inhabiting the Arctic and Far North" on its portal. The launch of the site was dedicated to the International Mother Language Day aimed to promote preservation of the linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism and the Year of the Arctic announced by the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
Because the traditional lifestyles of indigenous peoples depend upon the natural environment, they are the first to face the adverse effects of climate change, such as the shrinking of Arctic glaciers and sea ice brought about by global warming. Over the long history of their existence they have repeatedly faced similar challenges and accumulated a unique experience of adaptation, which resulted in the formation of the many unique cultures of northern indigenous peoples.
Traditional knowledge is reflected in the indigenous languages of the North and is an integral part of the culture, traditional way of life, beliefs and customs of these peoples. It also includes a model of relations with the environment and can be used as an important source of information in developing strategies for adaptation to climate change and to minimize the negative impact of natural disasters. Multimedia modules developed with the contribution of expes and representatives of local communities contain a multidisciplinary body of knowledge on climate change adaptation and mitigation in the regions that have similar climatic conditions and face similar environmental problems in the Far North of Russia:
- Tundra Reindeer People
- Chukotka Marine Hunters
- Fishermen, Hunters and Herders of Kamchatka and North-East of Russia
- Hunters and Herders of Eastern Siberia
- Hunters of West-Siberian Taiga
The target audience of the project are teachers and students, representatives of local communities and indigenous peoples, and the general public. All information on the web site is available in both English and Russian languages. The site is accessible at UNESCO IITE web portal with the use of any platform and mobile device. It supports the opportunity for further development of the system and user feedback through social networks. UNESCO IITE has also produced a CD with the local version of the system for dissemination among educational institutions.