A Review of the Northern Ecosystem Initiative in Arctic Canada: Facilitating Arctic Ecosystem Research Through Traditional and Novel Approaches
The Canadian Arctic is undergoing considerable social and environmental change. Anthropogenic stressors on this sensitive environment include climate change, contaminants, resource extraction, tourism and increasing human populations. The Northern Ecosystem Initiative (NEI) is a program aimed at supporting the sustainability of northern communities, and at improving our understanding of how northern ecosystems respond to these environmental stressors. A key element of the NEI is to establish partnerships between all levels of government, non-governmental environmental agencies, and northern residents. The NEI is an important source of financial support critical for social and environmental scientists as well as northern residents and their community and regional organizations. Initiated in 1998, the NEI has supported numerous northern scientific and capacity-building projects, and has evaluated the information gained from this work to refine and focus its future support to address key information gaps and northern needs.