Water in the life support systems of the river coastal local communities of Yakutia

Scientific questions:

  • What are the societal needs of the people of Yakutia?
  • What are the societal impacts of changes to the environment for people in Yakutia?
Human populations in Yakutia have historically clustered along the rivers, used them as transportation routes and freshwater resources and have faced all spectrum of risks associated with nearby rivers. A comprehensive, historical and anthropological study of the evolution of the water resources role in the life support system of the river coastal communities of Yakutia will identify existing, current and potential threats and key mechanisms of adaptation to the challenges of climate change. The evolution of interaction in the system “indigenous peoples – water” will be studied using traditional historical methods such as comparative, systemic, typological, etc. and modern approaches such as GIS technologies. Several key elements of the “indigenous peoples – water” system will be presented and estimated:
  • historically developing system of water consumption in Yakutia
  • the economic and everyday life value of water resources
  • its place in the cultural and spiritual life of aboriginal communities
It is planned to use documents and papers from the archives and libraries in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yakutsk. GIS technologies will be used to map the indigenous peoples population areas based on multi-temporal maps of Yakutia, taking into account an analysis of their access to water resources in different historical periods. It creates a dynamic picture of the transformation of nature use-manager models. The common patterns of indigenous ethnic groups settlements near rivers will be identified, as well as resilience of the indigenous peoples to changing nature and socio-economic conditions. Based on that we will determine general “water” problems that have countered by indigenous communities and estimate their mitigation and adaptation strategies to changes.  

Links to Scientific Publications: