« OBServatories for BRidging Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge about ENVironmental Changes in the Siberian Arctic: Adaptation and Vulnerabilities of the Environment and Related Societies » (2018-2021)

The project is constituted by 6 Siberian transdisciplinary observatories among Evenki reindeer herders and townspeople. The installation, development, data production, and analysis were jointly conceived by scientists (natural and social) and indigenous peoples.

It continues and develops further the Siberian research of two previous projects: BRISK (Bridging Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge about Global changes in the Arctic: adaptation and resilience of the environment and Society) (2013-2016) and BRISK’s OBS (2014-2017).

It assesses local environmental changes and related socio-economic impacts in the current context of the interplaying global environmental crisis and international interest in Arctic resources.

Based on the complementarity of indigenous and scientific knowledge, and in accordance with the COP21 agreement (article 7), it aims to build on synergies between the natural and social sciences, science and indigenous knowledge, as well as between indigenous communities, scientists and policy-makers. This innovative methodology allows knowledge co-production that contributes to filling gaps about the Arctic environment and its current changes. Also, classical anthropological methods are used to study socio-economic impacts on the societies concerned and their adaptive strategies.

It includes a study of changes in biodiversity (appearance and disappearance or increase or decrease of animals  - including predators - and vegetal species). Secondly, it considers environmental degradation by monitoring human sensory perceptions, new reindeer illnesses and lichen evolution. Thirdly, it provides a cloud atlas in order to document the Arctic cloud cover and its transformation.

Some results from this research will be reinvested into programs for M1 and M2 students (UVSQ, Paris Saclay University, Paris-Sud university), as well as for children in European schools (sometimes with the direct involvement of reindeer herders) and UArctic or EDU-Arctic (a H2020 project), among others.


Main author and coordinator: A. Lavrillier (CEARC)

Partners: CEARC, LATMOS, and collaboration with LSCE

Funded by IPEV


Involved members:

  • Alexandra Lavrillier (coordinator)
  • Semen Gabyshev
  • Maxence Rojo


Related news:


Related publications:

  • Articles
    • Lavrillier, A., and S. Gabyshev, 2021 An Indigenous Science of the Climate Change Impacts on Landscape Topography in Siberia, Ambio (2021). (hal-03152715)
    • Lavrillier, A., S. Gabyshev, L. Egorova, G. Makarova, and M. Lomovtseva-Adukanova, 2021 Analysing Non-Existing and Existing Tourisms in Eastern Siberia among the Evenki, Even, Koryak, and Itelmen, Espace populations sociétés, 2020/3-2021|2021. (hal-03145149)
    • Varlamov A., K. Galina, and A. Lavrillier. 2020. Electronic Devices for Safeguarding Indigenous Languages and Cultures (Eastern Siberia). In Timo Koivurova, Else Grete Broderstad, Dorothée Cambou, Dalee Dorough, and Florian Stammler (eds) Routledge Handbook of Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic, London and NY : Routledge, pp. 58-75.
    • Lavrillier, A., and S. Gabyshev, 2020-2021. A Siberian Indigenous Knowledge System for Understanding Climate Change, INTERACT - Stories of Arctic Science II, pp. 18-19 (in press). 
  • International conference
    • 2020 Lavrillier, A., and S. Gabyshev, The Emic Climate Science of the Evenki Reindeer Herders. Siberian Indigenous Environmental Knowledge for Redefining an Extreme Event and Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into IPCC and IPBES Assessments. AGU (American Geophysical Union) Fall meeting conference 2020, Science and Society: Social and Behavioral Sciences I, 8 December | SY016-02 Zoom.