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Last updateSat, 07 Dec 2019 12am







    Saturday, December 7, 2019-8:45:12P.M.






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Researcher looks into climate change in NMI

DOCTOR Yang Jiao, an anthropologist and research partner of the Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts or LICCI project, is on island to “investigate how indigenous stakeholders understand and respond to climate change in the aftermath of [a] typhoon in the Northern Marianas Islands in relation to its sustainable development.”

Yang Jiao

LICCI is funded by the European Research Council.

Jiao, who started his research two weeks ago, is one of the 40 research partners working around the world as part of an international collaborative research effort.

He will collect various kinds of data to “validate local indicators of climate change.” The data collection period will end in Nov. 2020.

Jiao said he chose to conduct his research in the CNMI for the following reasons:

  • • The CNMI “faces major challenges in preserving terrestrial, aquatic, and wildlife resources in a time of climate change as well as direct impact from more frequent extreme climate events.”
  • • “The rich indigenous knowledge about nature and traditional livelihoods is endangered, but remains of great importance to understand climate change impacts and adaptive strategies.”
  • • “Research findings from the CNMI will be of great value to our understanding of climate change impacts and adaptations in the United States, as well as to indigenous peoples around the world after comparing LICCI data from all 40 sites.”

Jiao believes that the indigenous people have a “tremendous amount of traditional knowledge not only about climate change but also about local culture and livelihood” which are essential to the LICCI project.

“But unfortunately, [traditional knowledge] has not been tapped much in climate change studies. We…want to tap into that wealth of knowledge and then see how that knowledge can contribute to our understanding of climate change,” he said.

He would like to thank the extension agents and staff of Northern Marianas College- Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service for helping him “connect” with members of the indigenous community who are farmers and fishermen in Saipan. He said he also plans to reach out to the local communities on Tinian and Rota.

For more information about the Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts project visit or contact Dr. Yang Jiao at 783-8957.