Opening Doors to Native Knowledge GRDK

Fishermen, hunters and other environmentally-interested people participate in a program of Greenland's Government on the management of living resources. The program aims to establish locally-based documentation and resource management. It takes place in select villages and towns from Disko Bay and northwards in North West Greenland.


“After our hunting and fishing trips, we often discuss between us what we have seen. Some species are disappearing. Some species are coming back after having been away for a long time. And some species are turning up in larger numbers than before…”

Lars Olsen, Akunnaaq.


“The extent of sea ice is rapidly changing. This has an impact on almost everything we do. During our hunting and fishing trips we see a lot of birds and seals and other resources. We write down what we see and we discuss what it means. We hope our records and knowledge can help the Government make wise decisions…”

Karl Tobiassen, Qaarsut.


“The hunters and fishermen know a great deal about what is going on. They live in and experience the coastal areas all year round. We believe that their knowledge, if collected systematically, can be a huge help to making decisions regarding management of these resources…”

Pâviârak Jakobsen, Konst. Fagchef, Aasiaat, Qaasuitsup Kommune.

The monitoring of living resources is a necessity in order for the resource use to be sustainable. Scientific knowledge of the living resources is inadequate, and also costly to obtain. Local knowledge exists, but is rarely quantified and only systematically used in the management context through consultation processes on legislation and quota size and in different working groups, etc.

Piniakkanik Sumiiffinni Nalunaarsuineq / PISUNA (Opening Doors to Native Knowledge) has the following objectives:

• Increase local capacity to quantify, document and manage the living resources
• Increase local involvement in natural resource management
• Increase the ability to change management as species change distribution and abundance
• Increase dialogue between fishermen and hunters with scientists and the government

The program relies on gathering observations and sharing knowledge, carried out by a Natural Resources Council in each community. When the participants of the Councils are on a tour, they keep an eye on the living resources and on the use of the resources. At meetings of the Natural Resources Councils, their observations are summarized, discussed and analyzed. Additionally, possible management initiatives are discussed. Observations and management proposals are then sent to the Village Council, the Municipal Council, the Government, and the Organization of Fishermen and Hunters. Here they are included in decisions on resource management. Some of the observations and proposals can also serve the purpose of making the Municipal Council and the Government aware of particular circumstances that should be investigated further

More information is available at this website and in this leaflet:







Further information can be found in this leaflet from 2009: