Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 403

403 Arctic Yearbook 2015 process and the ability to bridge the gap between one-time assessment efforts within the Arctic Council. The overriding objective of AFI is to initiate a research project that will contribute to a sustained holistic integrated assessment of plausible futures of the Arctic, while cutting across different disciplines and individual countries’ strategic interests. The initiative will apply advanced integrative and participatory methods developed by IIASA and its international collaborators for examining possible futures of the Arctic. This could include IIASA’s research expertise such as work related to socio-economic scenario development; socio-economic vulnerability assessment of sectors and populations (such as the indigenous one); and systems analysis to support decision making and Arctic adaptation efforts. Whether for the purposes of science, policy or business, efforts focused on the Arctic are multitude but currently remain fragmented. A holistic, integrated systems approach to the Arctic is missing, as is a consistent approach to identifying and communicating the plausible Arctic futures. Another key role for AFI lays in its ability, as part of IIASA as a long-standing international research institution, to bridge the assessments of the Arctic Council and other relevant institutions across various chairmanships. To fully realize an integrated and sustained assessment process of Arctic futures, various activities within individual chairmanship timeframes will need to fit into a broader sustained assessment framework that AFI will be an essential part of. This type of integrated methodology and sustained framework will produce more usable, timely, and relevant information, scenarios and models for stakeholders in the Arctic that can lead to better decisions to be made for a more sustainable Arctic future. Reissell, Halinen, Lemke & Vörösmarty