The frontline of the climate crisis

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International climate research confirms what the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in Old Crow have been experiencing for years: the Arctic landscape is changing dramatically due to global warming.

Canada – Thawing permafrost, more and bigger forest fires, shrinking lakes, smaller caribou herds and malnourished salmon are just a few of the things that now threaten the way of life, food security and culture of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. To draw global attention to their predicament, on 19 May, 2019 the residents of Old Crow even declared a state of emergency. But the community itself has not been idle either.

Some 2,000 solar panels were installed and the possibilities of harnessing wind energy are now also being explored. James Itsi (81): “The land, water and animals do not belong to us, they are on loan from future generations. It is therefore our responsibility to take good care of nature and maintain the balance, which means we must live more sustainably. Nature is our teachter.”

Images: Nicole Franken – Text: Yvonne Dudock

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