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Content archived on 2024-04-30

Assessing the consequences of global changes for the Barents sea region: the Barents sea impact study


BASIS aims to provide an integrated assessment of global change impacts on cultural and socio-economic systems dependent on renewable and non-renewable resources in the Barents Sea region. This main goal is going to be addressed through the following objectives:
(i)BASIS will assess the likely magnitude of global changes on regional to sub-regional scales in the Barents region.
(ii) BASIS is going to provide insight into the consequences of global changes for terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.
(iii) BASIS aims to develop an integrated assessment of global change impacts for a number of major economic sectors (fishery, forestry, reindeer herding) in the Barents region.
(iv) BASIS will determine major changes in the socio-economic structure of the Barents region and will detemmine the conditions for a sustainable development in the region under conditions of global change.
Thus, BASIS addresses both impacts of global changes on the environmental and societal level within a 20 to 50 years time frame in the Barents region. We explicitly do not limit our considerations to climate change alone and will also include the impacts of contaminants on the region. Research activities embrace and combine: extensive base case studies in relevant sectors on both levels, biological and hydrological field work, the modelling of major environmental (marine) and socio-economic processes and the generation of predictive scenarios of development under conditions of global change. An important element of the study will be a dedicated, collectively accessible (via the Internet) data base and GIS infrastructure, which will also be open to other interested parties. The infommation and consultation of local and indigenous stakeholders and their feedback with regard to the implementation and execution as well as the results of BASIS will comprise an essential element of the study.
BASIS involves 17 partners and is organized in four task each comprised of three subtasks:
Task 1: Ocean climate and fisheries
Task 2: Impacts of global change on major terrestrial natural resources,pemmafrost dynamics and the hydrological regime
Task 3: The integrated effects of global changes on the socio-economic systemof the Barents region and conditions for sustainable development inthe region
Task 4: Integration/synthesis, data collection/dissemination and stakeholderinvolvement.
The BASIS subtasks are, by necessity, i.e. by the interdisciplinary nature of the issues addressed, closely linked and require extensive exchange and collaboration between the study partners. This will be facilitated through regular communication and meetings as well as through the aforementioned BASIS data base/GlS.
BASIS contributes to area 1.1.4 and area 4.3 of the 4th EC Framework Programme in the Field of Environment and Climate. The main benefits to be gained can be summarised on two levels:
(A)ln terms of the region and its inhabitants:
(i)Through the long-term perspective adopted, BASIS will help to specify more precisely the goals and objectives within the European Commission Structural Fund (DG Xl, objective 6) for the Barents region. (ii) BASIS will contribute to the discussion of how to deal with worst case scenarios regarding the cumulative effects of major political and economic transitions and global changes in the Barents region. (iii) In particular, BASIS may help to specify the limits beyond which adaptation to changes becomes threatened.
(iv) BASlS will contribute to the process of social integration in relation to the Russian Northwest and to regional development in the case of northern Sweden and northern Finland.
(B) In terms of gaining experience and expertise in conducting integrated impact studies:
(i)The experiences to be gained in conducting a complex, interdisciplinary research project and the associated leaming processes will help other similar studies in their planning, implementation and execution. (ii) The integration of results from different disciplinary projects and the associated synergistic effects within BASIS will provide unique knowledge that has not been gained before.

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