The RACER project | WWF
Adult Arctic tern (Sterna paradisea), feeding the young, Iceland. 
	© Wild Wonders of Europe /Orsolya Haarberg / WWF

Introduction to RACER

Identifying the pillars of arctic ecosystem resilience to climate change

WWF’S Rapid Assessment of Circum-Arctic Ecosystem Resilience (RACER) is a new tool for identifying and mapping places of conservation importance throughout the Arctic.
A changing Arctic means a changing management and conservation reality and needs. In order to adapt policies, planning and management to best support arctic ecosystem resilience rather than weaken it, we need to reform management approaches as well as improve our conservation targets: which are the ecosystem functions that support ecosystem resilience, and which of those are likely to persist in light of a changing climate?

Recognising that current approaches to managing often-vulnerable arctic habitats and species are not keeping pace with accelerating climate change, RACER instead locates sources of ecological strength and durability in today’s arctic ecosystems - ecosystem resilience - and looks ahead to whether these wellsprings of resilience will persist in a climate-altered future.

Focusing conservation attention on these enduring sources of resilience is important for the continued functioning of arctic ecosystems, including the ecological services people receive from them.

Learn more about RACER:

From the experts

Experts discuss resilience in the Arctic.
Featuring: Martin Sommerkorn, WWF; Don McLennon, Parks Canada; Sahotra Sarkar, University of Texas; John Roff, Natural Resources Canada; Terry Callaghan, Abisko Research Station, Sweden; Arkady Tishkov, Russian Academy of Sciences; Brendan Kelly, NOAA; Maria Gavrilo, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute St. Petersburg, Russia; James Snider, WWF

We must plan for a world of change if we wish to conserve arctic ecological systems, including the services they provide to people.

Robert W Corell (from the foreword of the RACER Handbook)

	© WWF
Front cover of the RACER Handbook.
RACER in practice
"In 2009, I found myself in a remote part of Sweden discussing options for arctic conservation with an elite group of researchers from around the world. After a few days, I was soon confronted with the radical new thinking we (conservationists, land-use managers, decisions makers) would need to embrace to be successful in conserving arctic ecosystems under conditions of rapid change."

WWF-Canada's Susan Evans shares the lessons learned while creating the RACER methodology.



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RACER ecoregion map
RACER focuses on the 50 terrestrial and marine ecoregions representing the diversity of arctic life. Click the map to enlarge.
	© WWF / Hartmut Jungius
Arctic forget-me-not, Lena-Delta, Russia
© WWF / Hartmut Jungius


  • All material from case studies on this site is work in progress and should not be considered final. For questions, please contact Martin Sommerkorn.


  • All material featured on this website is copyrighted WWF and the involved experts and expert advisers, unless stated otherwise.

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