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National Inuit Climate Change Strategy Sets Out Coordinated Actions to Shape Climate Policy

Friday June 7, 2019, Inuvik, Inuvialuit Settlement Region –

Climate change disproportionately affects the Inuit Nunangat environment, significantly changing the Inuit way of life and the wildlife and ecosystems that have sustained Inuit since time immemorial. The National Inuit Climate Change Strategy (NICCS), launched today in Inuvik, is an Inuit-led response to the global climate crisis. It is accompanied by first-year implementation funding of $1 million from the Government of Canada.

It calls for, among other things, coordinated climate policy and decision making that improves Inuit quality of life rather than adding to the socio-economic inequities Inuit already face, and is inclusive of Inuit as rights holders and knowledge holders. It asserts that for climate actions to be effective, appropriate, equitable and sustainable for Inuit Nunangat, they must be in line with the collective Inuit vision for building the sustainability, prosperity and wellbeing of Inuit Nunangat.

The NICCS is built on a foundation of five interconnected priority actions:

  1. Advance Inuit capacity and knowledge use in climate decision-making
  2. Improve linked Inuit and environmental health and wellness outcomes through integrated Inuit health, education and climate policies and initiatives
  3. Reduce the climate vulnerability of Inuit and market food systems
  4. Close the infrastructure gap with climate resilient new builds, retrofits to existing builds, and Inuit adaptations to changing natural infrastructure
  5. Support regional and community-driven energy solutions leading to Inuit energy independence

Each priority is reinforced by a number of collaborative actions that are practical and achievable within the next three years with appropriate partnerships between Inuit, federal, provincial and territorial governments, and groups including professional organizations, industry and the academic community.

Partnerships, both domestic and international, are key to successful implementation of the NICCS. Only by working with Inuit can climate actions affecting Inuit Nunangat be effective and sustainable in the long term.

QUOTES:

Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
“Inuit have a relationship with the environment that is steeped in meaning. It shapes our identity, values and world view. Our environment is a fundamental source of learning, memories, knowledge and wisdom. The National Inuit Climate Change Strategy is a response to an unprecedented global climate crisis. It is a hopeful, forward looking plan in the face of potentially catastrophic change that welcomes unique partnerships that are respectful of Inuit rights and knowledge.”

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada
“Inuit are disproportionately experiencing the impacts of climate change. Canada’s North is warming at three times the global average, impacting Inuit way of life, economies and communities. Today’s strategy is climate action by Inuit, for Inuit. We will continue to work together to tackle climate change and protect our northern communities.”

For more information:
media@itk.ca
Office: 613-238-8181
Cell: 613-292-4482