Departmental Bulletin Paper The human dimension of climate change research in Greenland: Towards a new form of knowledge generation

Hayashi, Naotaka

75pp.131 - 141 , 2017-03-31 , 低温科学第75巻編集委員会
In the field of climate change research, social sciences have lagged behind natural sciences and have not yet mustered enough recognition from the public. Studies on the human dimension of climate change commonly use the concepts of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘resilience’. The ‘resilience’ approach investigates the capacity of a community that absorbs environmental disturbances, so as to retain essential social, cultural, and economic structures, while the ‘vulnerability’ approach seeks to identify factors that make the community in question vulnerable to ongoing or future climate change. The term ‘resilience’ tends to give an impression that a system may remain static, and because of this, I adopt the term ‘vulnerability’ in this essay. ‘Vulnerability’ does not mean that Arctic communities are always “vulnerable” to environmental changes but may be negatively impacted by the associated social and political changes. Accordingly, vulnerability means the social and political “characteristics” of the community that is experiencing the changes. This concept helps researchers direct their attention not only to environmental changes, but also to the societal situation of the community. In the second half of this essay, I exemplify how the vulnerability approach works, drawing data from my fieldwork conducted in Siorapaluk, in 2009. More local communities want scientific data in order to plan a course of action and to shape their political and economic policies in the rapidly changing environment. In future, it will be increasingly important for natural scientists to work closely with local communities, and this may lead to a new form of knowledge generation.
気候変動といえば自然科学の分野が先行し,社会科学的調査の認知度は低い.社会科学の分野には, 「復元性(resilience)」と,「脆弱性(vulnerability)」に注目する手法がある.復元性とは,環境攪乱が おきても,社会,文化,経済構造を維持できる地域の包容力であり,脆弱性とは,調査地が現在また は未来の気候変動に対して,脆弱になる可能性である.「復元性」という言葉は,社会が変わらないと いう印象を与えるため,筆者は,脆弱性に注目した手法を本稿で解説する.脆弱性という言葉は,北 極圏に住んでいる人たちが,単に環境変化に「脆弱である」という意味ではなく,環境変化に伴って おきる社会的,経済的,政治的変化に対応できないために,脆弱になるということを意味している. つまり,「脆弱性」とは,変化にさらされている調査地の社会的,政治的「特徴」を表していると考え てよい.この概念は,環境変化だけでなく,調査地の社会状況をも考慮する必要性を喚起する.後半 では,筆者が2009 年に行ったシオガパルクでの現地調査を紹介し,気候変動の社会科学的な調査がど のように行われたか解説する.現在,多くの町や村では,将来の政治経済方針や事業方針を定めるの に有用な科学的データが必要とされている.今後,自然科学者はますます,調査地の社会と連携を図 る必要性が出てくるであろう.そしてそれは,新しい知識の形成に繋がるのである.

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