Diana Kouril,ab Chris Furgal,bc Tom Whillansd
aSustainability Studies Graduate Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
bHealth, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
cIndigenous Environmental Studies Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
dEnvironmental and Resource Studies Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
Corresponding author: Diana Kouril (email: dianakouril [at] trentu.ca)
Abstract: Community-based monitoring (CBM) is receiving much attention from the research community, particularly in Arctic and Subarctic regions of Canada and other circumpolar regions. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of the trends and patterns in its use within the literature and a documented need to improve environmental CBM efforts in the Arctic and Subarctic regions. A systematic literature review was conducted of CBM publications in peer-reviewed and grey literature to provide a synthesis of trends on the topic and to clarify key elements that are needed to operate an environmental CBM program in Arctic and Subarctic regions. Both sets of literature show a significant growth in the publication of CBM studies over time, with a high proportion of research taking place in North America and in the field of environmental sciences. More CBM studies are reported in connection to First Nations and Inuit groups, as compared to other Indigenous groups. Thirteen key elements of environmental CBM programs, commonly reported in the literature focused on Arctic and Subarctic regions, were identified in the analysis. Specifically, traditional and local ecological knowledge (TLEK) was a unique component highlighted in Arctic and Subarctic sources and a specific feature observed in studies focusing on Indigenous groups. The identification of such key CBM elements serves as a resource to guide current and future environmental CBM initiatives in northern regions and elsewhere. Future research on this topic should contrast and compare literature findings with existing environmental CBM programs and provide more case studies to show the process and utility of environmental CBM initiatives in the Arctic and Subarctic, particularly with use of TLEK and the ways to facilitate it within a CBM program.
Key words: community-based monitoring, Arctic, Subarctic, systematic literature review, Indigenous peoples.