The Circle 01.12 | WWF

The Circle 01.12

Posted on
14 March 2012

Managing arctic natural resources in times of rapid change

Rapid change is the new constant in the Arctic, yet our approaches to managing arctic land, seas and natural resources have not kept pace.

This is all the more surprising as the world looks to the Arctic to learn how we can address change -- and safeguard the functioning of ecosystems, granting us the goods and services we all depend upon. In many parts of the transforming Arctic, traditional ways of managing places and resources will become increasingly ineffective.

Resilience-based thinking offers a path out of current dilemmas but there have been few real-world applications in the Arctic. As a result, we often lack concrete examples of resilience in practice, and its benefits.

This issue of The Circle seeks to identify ways forward by looking at resilience-related approaches and tools for arctic natural resource management. While Ellen Inga Turi and Svein D. Mathiesen point out that much could be learnt from traditional reindeer-herding, Gary Kofinas looks at resilience with an ecosystem service lens, and Raul Primicerio and Michaela Aschan outline the possibilities and challenges from an ecosystem-based management perspective.

Highlighting the very timely nature of this topic, we also present the recently initiated Arctic Resilience Report, and WWF’s new RACER project. Finally, Donald McLennan looks at how these tools and ideas could be applied in the concrete case of Canadian national parks, and Ambassador Andreas von Uexkull points out the role the Arctic Council could play in the future to link theory and practice in this area.
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