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PERA - Perception and Evaluation of Risk in the Arctic 

Status: Ongoing
Funding: Arctic Research and Studies (RANNIS in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education
IACN: leading partner with University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway (UiT)

Partners to the project seek to initiate an interdisciplinary network to facilitate dialogue and foster cooperation, communication, and exchange among academics and professionals engaged in research on risk perception and risk evaluation in the Arctic region.
The network aims to be highly interdisciplinary and will involve academics and professionals from various disciplines, including (but not limited to) anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, engineers, analysts, etc. Its primary objectives are to:

1) initiate an academic/professional debate on risks, combining risk analysis with studies on perceptions of risk. Geographic scope will initially be Norway and Iceland with potential for expanding this scope to incorporate partners such as from Europe or North-America.

2) assess risks related to economic activities (f. ex. increased shipping, tourism, resource extractions, etc…) in the region focusing on the human dimension, including indigenous peoples;
3) identify what is missing in current best practices on analysis, management and reduction of risks focusing on the way in which community well-being is represented in such analysis;
4) provide policy relevant material for policy makers and professionals including a focused approach to risk management for the benefit of Arctic communities.

The partners seek to highlight the compelling need for a more holistic approach to risk assessment by analyzing the way in which risk assessment and management is currently framed and performed and the way in which perception of risk influences and guides analysis and management of risk. This is of particular importance in the Arctic, not only because of specific environmental and ecosystem vulnerabilities but also because of the near complete lack of infrastructure and capacity to respond to or in general deal with disturbances.
It is important to identify the disconnect between the way in which the public or more specficially policy makers perceive risk and analysis there of, in order to better understand the gap between the two and the way this can result in ill-conceived and narrow minded policy making.
The project partners seek to contribute to an increasingly important discourse on economic development in the Arctic region, emphasising the need for a more holistic approach to risk analysis. 

Partners to PERA (March 2018) 

Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Arctic Safety Centre - UNIS

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