The Nordic Council Environment Prize 2018 goes to the Natural Resource Council of Attu, West Greenland, it has just been announced at the award ceremony for the five Nordic Council prizes in Oslo Opera House. The Natural Resource Council of Attu has been awarded the prize for its work on documenting the marine environment and proposing new ways of managing it.
The jury said:
Fishermen and hunters in Attu, West Greenland, have been providing input into the local Natural Resource Council for several years. This exemplary project documents their observations and wide-ranging knowledge of local nature and feeds it into research aimed at developing new ways of managing living resources.
The Natural Resource Council in Attu, established in 2014, is one of five similar bodies active in Greenland under the auspices of the public-sector PISUNA* programme set up in 2009. PISUNA uses accessible and innovative methods to involve local people in the documentation and management of the environment and living resources.
Their observations demonstrate how democratic participation enhances knowledge of the marine environment, improves management and enhances the sense of responsibility for and ownership of nature and the environment.
The councils also create a sense of social community that promotes dialogue and co-operation between ordinary people, science and those who manage resources. The initiative is scalable and has already inspired similar projects in Finland and Russia and looks set to spread to other countries and industries, both on land and at sea, in the Arctic region and beyond.
*PISUNA is an abbreviation of the Greenlandic “Piniakkanik sumiiffinni nalunaarsuineq” (documentation and management of living resources).