Arctic Biodiversity Assessment Released



Posted on 15 May 2013  | 
Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) close-up, Dovrefjell National Park, Norway, February 2009.
Muskox, Dovrefjell National Park, Norway
© Wild Wonders of Europe /Munier / WWFEnlarge
The Arctic Council’s assessment of the more than 21,000 Arctic species is now out, and its recommendations have the backing of the Arctic states. More than a tenth of the world’s fish catches by weight come from Arctic and sub-Arctic seas. The Arctic is the breeding ground for millions of migratory birds that fly to every continent, connecting the region with the rest of the world and contributing to global biodiversity.

Learn more and download the report here.


There are several key findings of the assessment:
  • The significance of climate change as the most serious underlying driver of overall change in biodiversity
  • The necessity of taking an ecosystem-based approach to management
Significant recommendations include:
  • Advance the protection of large areas of ecologically important marine, terrestrial and freshwater habitats, taking into account ecological resilience in a changing climate.
  • Advance and advocate ecosystem-based management efforts in the Arctic as a framework for cooperation, planning and development. This includes an approach to development that proceeds cautiously, with sound short and long-term environmental risk assessment and management, using the best available scientific and traditional ecological knowledge, following the best environmental practices, considering cumulative effects and adhering to international standards.
WWF contributed to the assessment, and looks forward to working on the follow-up.
Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) close-up, Dovrefjell National Park, Norway, February 2009.
Muskox, Dovrefjell National Park, Norway
© Wild Wonders of Europe /Munier / WWF Enlarge

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