Permafrost underlies 22% of the Northern Hemisphere’s exposed land surface and is thawing at an alarming rate as a direct consequence of climate change.
Permafrost thaw releases large quantities of organic matter and contaminants, including heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants and microbiological agents that are a risk for both human and animal health. In addition, permafrost thaw dramatically impacts infrastructure in local communities with wide-ranging consequences for health, economy, and society.

ILLUQ (the Inuvialuktun word for partner) is an interdisciplinary project rooted in participatory research with local stake- and rightsholders.
Its mission is to provide the first holistic approach to permafrost thaw, pollution, One Health and well-being in the Arctic and to deliver timely products on the threats from contaminant release, infrastructure failure and ecosystem changes to stakeholders.
It targets the missing link between studies performed by scientists in the local communities and local solutions founded on the cultural, natural and social frameworks of local communities.


ILLUQ (Permafrost – Pollution – Health) | STEFANSSON ARCTIC INSTITUTE (

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Prof. Hugues Lantuit
Project Coordinator
Leena Viitanen
Project Manager
Prof. Joan Nymand Larsen, Dr. Jón Haukur Ingimundarson
Principle Investigators