WWF Arctic contacts
WWF’s earliest recorded Arctic work was in Canada in 1972. Since that time, WWF has maintained a regular presence in the north. Because many of the projects are conducted in the traditional areas of Indigenous peoples, special efforts are made to identify areas of common ground and to work together. An example of such a project is the establishment of a Bowhead whale sanctuary off Baffin Island, a proposal originated by a local Inuit community.
The world’s largest island and home to the second largest ice body of the world, the Greenland Ice Sheet. Although 80% of Greenland is covered by ice, the coastal regions, deep fjords and marine ecosystems of Greenland have a rich biodiversity.
Greenlanders call their country Kalaallit Nunaat – land of the people.
Since 1979 Greenland has been an autonomous Danish dependent territory. In 2009 the Greenland Self-Government Act established that the people of Greenland is recognized as a people pursuant to international law with the right to self determination. Greenlandic is now established as the official language of Greenland.
The Greenland Parliament and Government – Inatsisartut and Naalakkersuisut – are responsible for almost all aspects of governance in Greenland, including conservation of nature and protection of the environment, protection and harvest of wildlife, fisheries and mineral and hydrocarbon resources development. The Kingdom of Denmark, however, is responsible for foreign affairs and defense. Research institutions and agencies work closely together in fields of shared interest, like research on climate change and marine environment protection.
- Consulting with decision makers, researchers and local representatives on research and future management of the Last Ice Area – an area north of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago, where summer sea ice will remain resilient
- Addressing the resilience of terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the light of climate change.
- Dialogue with stakeholders on sustainable fisheries
- Biological research and traditional knowledge on wildlife and climate change
- Stakeholder involvement and consultation processes for new industries in Greenland.
Seniorrådgiver Grønland og Arktis/ Senior advisor Greenland and the Arctic
It was on the initiative of Finland that the eight arctic countries launched the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy in 1991 in Rovaniemi. This later became the Arctic Council.
- Projects designed to save boreal forests and endangered species such as the Lesser White-fronted goose.
- Assessing the future of the Last Ice Area
- Bear-human conflict management
Femke Hilderink - Koopmans
Avisor Ecological networks & Species
Manager International Projects
There is no place closer to the North Pole where so many visitors have their first experience with exciting, unspoiled, arctic nature than Svalbard, Norway. This unique high Arctic archipelago is an area that will be considerably challenged by a changing climate.
- opposing the expansion of coal-mining on Svalbard
- Arctic shipping
- fisheries management
- offshore oil and gas development in the Norwegian Arctic
Nils Harley Boisen
Rådgiver, Arktis og nordområdene/ Advisor, Arctic and Northern Areas
WWF has taken an active part in setting up more than 30 protected areas in the Russian Arctic. The total reserve area is over 35 million hectares, which equals the area of Finland.
- Conservation of polar bear and Atlantic walrus
- Adoption of an ecosystem-based approach in marine resources exploitation
- Environmental legislation improvement and enforcement
- Ensuring elimination of threats from hydrocarbon extraction development; implementation of a plan to conserve biological and landscape biodiversity in the Arctic (Econet)
- Improving the sustainability of fisheries, including certification for Russia’s fishing industry in accordance to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards
Programme Director WWF Russia
Sweden has the largest wild areas, and the most abundant populations of large carnivores such as bears, lynx and wolverine, remaining in northern Scandinavia.
- Focused programs preserving western Europe's last wild rivers
- A joint project with the Saami people on to explore ways of reducing future cumulative impacts of different pressures (including mining, wind power, forestry, tourism and large carnivores) on reindeer herding in Sweden
Senior conservation officer
WWF-UK is currently focusing on:
- the Barents Sea in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic, one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world;
- Limiting the impacts of climate change.
UK Polar Policy and Programme Officer
United StatesWWF-US website
The WWF-US Arctic Program is headquartered in Alaska.
- In the Bristol Bay, known as “America’s fish basket,” WWF works to minimize the threats to the region’s fisheries.
- In the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, home to critical polar bear and walrus habitat, WWF is focused now on preventing irresponsible drilling for oil and gas.
- In Russia, the Kamchatka Peninsula’s river systems host the greatest diversity and concentration of salmon on Earth. Here, WWF is taking steps to reduce Illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing.
Managing Director for the WWF-US Arctic Program