sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Monitoring Arctic Sustainability: Methods, Indicators, Monitoring Systems and Experiences"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020) | Viewed by 12442

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Andrey N Petrov
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ARCTICenter, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614, USA
Interests: sustainability; Arctic social-ecological systems; resilience and change in Arctic communities; community wellbeing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Tatiana Vlasova
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Institute of Geography, Staromonetniy pereulok 29, Moscow 119017, Russia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Arctic is among the world’s regions most affected by ongoing and increasing cultural, socioeconomic, environmental, and climatic changes. In this context, the sustainability of Arctic social–ecological systems has become a point of increased interest and attention among scholars. This Special Issue focuses on conceptual and practical approaches, methodologies, and experiences in defining, measuring, and monitoring sustainability in the Arctic regions and communities. The papers will deal with qualitative and quantitative measurement systems, indicators, observing networks, and other monitoring options devoted to tracing sustainability as both a process and outcome. Monitoring could focus on natural, economic, social, or cultural aspects of social–ecological systems with the aim to assessing the vulnerability, resilience, adaptive capacity, and overall sustainability of these systems. The development of such monitoring frameworks is especially relevant as Arctic communities embark on implementing sustainability-driven projects, including the application of the UN SDGs, the development of climate change adaptation and community resilience strategies, ecosystem stewardship principles, etc. By directing attention to sustainability monitoring, the issue will expand the knowledge base on sustainability and sustainable development in the Arctic, as well as indicators and best practices of sustainable development.

  1. Petrov, A.N.; BurnSilver, S.; Chapin III, F.S.; Fondahl, G.; Graybill, J.K.; Keil, K.; Nilsson, A.E.; Riedlsperger, R.; Schweitzer, P. Arctic Sustainability Research: Past, Present and Future; Taylor & Francis Group Ltd: Oxford, OX14 4RN, UK, 2017.
  2. Chapin III, F.S.; Carpenter, S.R.; Kofinas, G.P.; Folke, C.; Abel, N.; Clark, W.C.; Olsson, P.; Smith, D.M.S.; Walker, B.; Young, O.R.; Berkes, F. Ecosystem stewardship: sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet. Trends Ecol. Evol. 2010, 25, 241–249.
  3. Vlasova, T.; Petrov, A.; Volkov, S. Arctic Sustainability Monitoring within the International collaboration on Arctic Observing and Research for Sustainability. Arctic Herald 2017, 20, 124–131.

Prof. Dr. Andrey N Petrov
Dr. Tatiana Vlasova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • sustainability
  • monitoring
  • indicators
  • resilience
  • adaptation

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
Towards an Arctic Sustainability Monitoring Framework
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4800; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094800 - 25 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 720
Abstract
It is becoming more evident that in the twenty-first century we are living in the new era of Anthropocene, where humans attained the ability to alter planetary processes, bringing new urgency to the systematic understanding of current and future social and environmental changes [...] Read more.
It is becoming more evident that in the twenty-first century we are living in the new era of Anthropocene, where humans attained the ability to alter planetary processes, bringing new urgency to the systematic understanding of current and future social and environmental changes [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Measuring Progress toward Urban Sustainability: Do Global Measures Work for Arctic Cities?
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3708; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093708 - 03 May 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1814
Abstract
The International Organization for Standardization recently responded to a growing global interest in cities by developing an index for measuring urban sustainability (ISO 37120). We address how well this standard applies to Arctic cities, and potential modifications that might improve its performance. After [...] Read more.
The International Organization for Standardization recently responded to a growing global interest in cities by developing an index for measuring urban sustainability (ISO 37120). We address how well this standard applies to Arctic cities, and potential modifications that might improve its performance. After briefly discussing the goals of sustainability indicators, we examine the extent to which Arctic cities’ remote location, cold and changing climate, and thin, largely resource-based economies may create different sustainability challenges. We then critically examine the content of ISO 37120 and the context in which it was created. We place the index within a broader discussion of urban sustainability indicators and examine the extent to which it really addresses sustainability. We then analyze how well the ISO 37120 accounts for the characteristic features of Arctic cities that produce unique sustainability challenges. Our findings show that only half of ISO 37120′s 128 indicators actually measure future-oriented concerns. We suggest that, while the ISO 37120 may be a useful starting point in quantifying Arctic urban sustainability, the index should only be used as a foundation for a more in-depth analysis. To better represent Arctic cities, the ISO 37120 would need to include indicators that situate cities within their regional contexts, addressing both remoteness and the underlying basis of the Arctic city economy. The index should also measure the role of Indigenous populations, and chart the extent to which cities are working to increase levels of sustainability. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sustainable Development in Sparsely Populated Territories: Case of the Russian Arctic and Far East
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2367; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062367 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1764
Abstract
Extreme environmental conditions, sparsely distributed human populations, and diverse local economies characterize the Russian Arctic and Far East. There is an urgent need for multidisciplinary research into how the Arctic and Far East can be developed sustainably as global changes in the environment [...] Read more.
Extreme environmental conditions, sparsely distributed human populations, and diverse local economies characterize the Russian Arctic and Far East. There is an urgent need for multidisciplinary research into how the Arctic and Far East can be developed sustainably as global changes in the environment and the economic priorities of nations accelerate and globalized societies emerge. Yet, when it comes to sustainability indicators, little consideration has been given thus far to sparsely populated and remote territories. Rather, the majority of indicators have been developed and tested while using empirical research gathered from cities and densely populated rural localities. As a result, there is no scientific technique that can be used to monitor the development of sparsely populated territories and inform the decisions of policymakers who hope to account for local specificity. This article suggests a conceptual model for linking sustainability to the unique characteristics of the sparsely populated regions of the Arctic and Far East. We provide an empirical illustration that is based on regional-level data from the sparsely populated territories of the Russian Federation. We conclude by suggesting indicators that could be best suited to promoting balanced regional development that accounts for the environment, economy, and social needs of sparsely populated territories. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Making Regional Sense of Global Sustainable Development Indicators for the Arctic
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031027 - 31 Jan 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2521
Abstract
Since the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015, efforts are underway to identify indicators for monitoring progress. However, perceptions of sustainability are scale and place specific, and there has also been a call for Sustainable Development Goals and indicators that [...] Read more.
Since the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015, efforts are underway to identify indicators for monitoring progress. However, perceptions of sustainability are scale and place specific, and there has also been a call for Sustainable Development Goals and indicators that are more relevant for the Arctic than the global perspectives. Based on earlier and ongoing efforts to identify Arctic Social Indicators for monitoring human development, insights from scenario workshops and interviews at various locations in the Barents region and Greenland and on studies of adaptive capacity and resilience in the Arctic, we provide an exploratory assessment of the global SDGs and indicators from an Arctic perspective. We especially highlight a need for additional attention to demography, including outmigration; indigenous rights; Arctic-relevant measures of economic development; and social capital and institutions that can support adaptation and transformation in this rapidly changing region. Issues brought up by the SDG framework that need more attention in Arctic monitoring include gender, and food and energy security. We furthermore highlight a need for initiatives that can support bottom–up processes for identifying locally relevant indicators for sustainable development that could serve as a way to engage Arctic residents and other regional and local actors in shaping the future of the region and local communities, within a global sustainability context. Full article
Article
Four Paradoxes of the User–Provider Interface: A Responsible Innovation Framework for Sea Ice Services
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020448 - 07 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1419
Abstract
In the Arctic region, sea ice retreat as a decadal-scale crisis is creating a challenging environment for navigating long-term sustainability. Innovations in sea ice services can help marine users to anticipate sea ice concentration, thickness and motion, plan ahead, as well as increase [...] Read more.
In the Arctic region, sea ice retreat as a decadal-scale crisis is creating a challenging environment for navigating long-term sustainability. Innovations in sea ice services can help marine users to anticipate sea ice concentration, thickness and motion, plan ahead, as well as increase the safety and sustainability of marine operations. Increasingly however, policy makers and information service providers confront paradoxical decision-making contexts in which contradictory solutions are needed to manage uncertainties across different spatial and temporal scales. This article proposes a forward-looking sea ice services framework that acknowledges four paradoxes pressuring sea ice service provision: the paradoxes of performing, contradictory functions embedded in sea ice services, contradicting desired futures and the paradox of responsible innovation. We draw on the results from a multi-year co-production process of (sub)seasonal sea ice services structured around scoping interviews, workshops and a participatory scenario process with representatives of marine sectors, fishers, hunters, metservice providers, and policy experts. Our proposed framework identifies institutionalized coproduction processes, enhanced decision support, paradoxical thinking and dimensions of responsible innovation as tactics necessary to address existing tensions in sea ice services. We highlight the role of socio-economic scenarios in implementing these tactics in support of responsible innovation in sea ice social–ecological systems. The article concludes with a discussion of questions around equity and responsibility raised by the ultimate confirmation that enhanced information, data infrastructures, and service provisions will not benefit all actors equally. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Is It Time for a Reset in Arctic Governance?
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4497; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164497 - 20 Aug 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2529
Abstract
Conditions in the Arctic today differ from those prevailing during the 1990s in ways that have far-reaching implications for the architecture of Arctic governance. What was once a peripheral region regarded as a zone of peace has turned into ground zero for climate [...] Read more.
Conditions in the Arctic today differ from those prevailing during the 1990s in ways that have far-reaching implications for the architecture of Arctic governance. What was once a peripheral region regarded as a zone of peace has turned into ground zero for climate change on a global scale and a scene of geopolitical maneuvering in which Russia is flexing its muscles as a resurgent great power, China is launching economic initiatives, and the United States is reacting defensively as an embattled but still potent hegemon. This article explores the consequences of these developments for Arctic governance and specifically for the role of the Arctic Council. The article canvasses options for adjusting the council’s membership and its substantive remit. It pays particular attention to opportunities for the council to play a role in managing the increasingly complex Arctic regime complex. Full article

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Review
Rethinking Sustainability Monitoring in the Arctic by Linking Resilience and Sustainable Development in Socially-Oriented Observations: A Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010177 - 27 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Monitoring of social-ecological systems dynamics and sustainability is of high importance in a rapidly changing Arctic. The goal of this essay is to discuss and articulate the principles for designing a suitable Arctic sustainability monitoring framework based on the convergence between resilience thinking [...] Read more.
Monitoring of social-ecological systems dynamics and sustainability is of high importance in a rapidly changing Arctic. The goal of this essay is to discuss and articulate the principles for designing a suitable Arctic sustainability monitoring framework based on the convergence between resilience thinking and sustainable development paradigms. We propose to integrate sustainability monitoring into the socially-oriented observations (SOO) methodologies in order to design Arctic sustainability monitoring as a transdisciplinary participatory activity that results in both co-production of sustainability knowledge and building more sustainable and resilient Arctic social-ecological systems by enabling continuous observation and informed decision-making. Special attention is given to approaches for developing sustainability indicators to monitor trends in Arctic social-ecological systems. It is argued that sustainability monitoring is a valuable component of the Arctic sustainability knowledge system that integrates social and natural sciences and engages Indigenous, local, and traditional knowledge, entrepreneurship, education, and decision-making. Bringing together diverse knowledge systems is the primary route to collectively pursue sustainability in a holistic, polycentric, multifaceted, participatory, and knowledge-driven manner. Transdisciplinary SOO approaches and methods are specifically discussed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop