Mountainous Landscape

ICARIS™

Icarus, the man who flew too close to the sun and had his wings melt. Did you know that if Icarus flew too close to the sea his wings would fail as well? This is a lesson in balance, and  exactly what our ICARIS™ hopes to achieve.

The ICARIS™ is based on a CIS and includes traditional  and local knowledge to identify and increase community biophysical, environmental, and socioeconomic climate resilience, based on how communities use their natural resources.  The ICARIS™ process also identifies and quantifies different potential management options and evaluates the success of the selected management actions in increasing resilience and sustainability while reducing future monetary, social, and cultural losses.

Integrated Climate Adaptation & Resilience Impact Statement

Two Bears Environmental Consulting, LLC (TBEC) used the SBIR NSF Phase I grant to develop the proof of concept for creating Climate Impact Statements and Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Impact Statements. 

 

Using the ICARIS™, Alaskan Native Tribal Chiefs, Elders, Administrators, Councils, and community members are offered potential impacts of futures climates on the biophysical and socioeconomic processes in the context of their lifestyles and cultures. They are provided tools to preview what the future may look like in 10, 50, or 100 years to choose the actions they would like to take today to adapt and maintain their culture for future generations. 

The ICARIS™ is adaptive, comparing the ability of potential management strategies to reduce risks; the benefits associated with each action can be evaluated separately and cumulatively, as well as the success of each action. For example, did the action reduce the magnitude and timing of the targeted climate hazard to the degree expected? Were conditions improved to a level greater than baseline, if that was the expectation?  It is an interactive process to bring stakeholders together, and to increase the understanding of climate risks and hazards, generate discussion, and develop a plan forward to increase community resilience. The villages cannot reduce the probability of a flood event, but they can reduce the flood’s impact by raising homes above the expected flood levels.

 

Not only does the ICARIS™ support comparisons between potential options, but it is also a quick visual to demonstrate what processes are being impacted between communities, enabling between-community comparisons. ICARIS™ gives Native Alaskans a voice and a role in taking control of their futures, empowering community members to be proactive instead of reactive in planning for climate change.

Because Alaska’s environment is changing and projected to continue to change, planning and adaptation for environmental change are necessary to reduce community vulnerability. Meeting this challenge will broaden the impacts of climate science in highly visible and societally relevant ways. The complexity of predicted environmental changes, combined with the accelerated loss of traditional ways of living and increased industrial activities, called for developing an integrated scheme that links local policymakers, scientists, and stakeholders.

Mitigating Social Inequity

By developing ICARIS™ in Alaska, social inequity is mitigated as climate hazards disproportionally affect small, impoverished native Alaskan villages.