Effects of degradation on people and the environment


  • Illegal hunting and fishing is threatening the traditional way of life for the Inuit hunters as their food sources come under threat.
  • Local people have found employment in new industries, which provides them with money to improve their standard of living, but, changes their traditional lifestyle.
  • Entertainments and modern 'Western' facilities are influencing the traditional lifestyle of indigenous Inuit hunters.
  • Pesticides present in the food chain are harmful as local people hunt food for survival.


  • The tundra is a very fragile environment. The smallest pressures can bring about its destruction.
  • Polar ice caps are melting because of an increase in global warming.

Polar ice caps melting

  • Many polar bears have starved to death as their feeding patterns have been disrupted.

Polar bears and melting ice caps

  • Melting ice caps are causing sea levels to rise and low-lying coastal areas to flood.
  • Animals are often shot or scared away when they try to move through a town.
  • Burst pipes have spilt hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil in Alaska devastating this fragile environment.
  • Oil spills have caused serious water pollution in the Arctic Ocean.

Oil spills

  • Some animals' movements to traditional feeding and nesting grounds have been disrupted by pipelines above the ground.