Traditional Knowledge

Schematic diagram showing Greenland's coastal environments.
Environments along the coast of Greenland are rapidly changing under the influence of a warming climate in the Arctic. To better understand the changes in the coastal environments, we performed researches in the Qaanaaq region in northwestern Greenland as a part of the ArCS (Arctic Challenge for Sustainability) Project. Mass loss of ice caps and marine-terminating outlet glaciers were quantified by field and satellite observations. Measurements and sampling in fjords revealed the important role of glacial meltwater discharge in marine ecosystems.
Living in a harsh, desert climate, Omani rural communities have developed locally-appropriate knowledge to deal with water scarcity. Similar to the qanat, the aflaj taps into the natural water table and uses a gravity system to channel water through underground channels to villages. Traditional techniques of water management, such as the aflaj, represents a way of adapting to and coping with difficult climates which have persisted for millennia. However, knowledge systems have often ‘decayed’ with the onset of modernity.