Informal Roads: The Impact of Undocumented Transportation Pathways on Remote Communities in Siberia

Crucial role of transportation systems in fighting climate change and achieving the sustainable future was recognized by United Nations in organizing the first global conference on sustainable transport in 2016. Yet, road construction has ambiguous effects on remote communities. On one hand, such communities have a need for better transportation to reduce costs that are an obstacle for economic development in such locales. On the other hand, development of transportation infrastructure often conflicts with environmental concerns, e.g. reducing fuel emissions or soil degradation, and the calls for preservation of local lifestyles and cultures. In many remote regions in the Arctic and in Siberia, transport infrastructure consists mostly of paths and trails made by indigenous communities for their subsistence activities, as well as of temporary roads laid for resource extraction purposes. This interdisciplinary project aims to analyze the impact of informal transport networks on arctic socio-ecological systems. We hope that our case studies from East Siberia will contribute to understanding of anthropogenic environmental change caused by industrialization and tourism and, thus, facilitate sustainable development of arctic and subarctic regions.

Project “Informal Roads: the Impact of Undocumented Transportation Pathways on Remote Communities of Siberia” funded by the US National Science Foundation (project #1748092; PI – V. Kuklina)

For more information see the project's group on Facebook