A soft law regime paved the way for indigenous priorities

Based on the ACIA, it also appears that the nature of the regional regime in relation to global climate policy arenas can play a role for what is assessed and the policy outcomes. For example, in the Arctic Council setting, indigenous peoples were able to participate both in the scientific framing of climate change and in the policy process, leading to the inclusion of indigenous observations and knowledge that highlighted the impact on their cultures and livelihoods. This illustrates the point made by Koivurova and Heinamaki that indigenous peoples are more likely to be able to participate in interna

27 E.g, AMAP's 1998 assessment (Weatherhead, "Climate Change, Ozone, and Ultraviolet Radiation." and the subregional integrated assessments in the Mackenzie Basin and in the Barents Sea and the Bering Sea regions.

tional norm-making in soft law agreements than in formally codified treaties because in these, states are the legitimate actors according to the norms that govern international law.28 In the IPCC, scientists were the non-state actors with the most access to the process, whereas the political side mostly followed the same norms and dynamics as the UNFCCC, neither of which has provided a platform for indigenous peoples. By contrast, sub-regional actors, who did not have a formal role in the Arctic Council, did not participate in this exercise. They include policy makers at the county or municipal levels. There was also no active participation by economic stakeholders, other than the member states. This, together with a weak structural basis in the Arctic Council for discussing economic development, may be part of why socioeconomic impacts that did not specifically address indigenous peoples were generally not assessed (fisheries being an exception).

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