Voyage for the Future 2008, Spitsbergen, Norway / ©: WWF-Canon / Sindre Kinnerød

Our solutions

The Arctic is at a critical threshold: unprecedented rates of change, mostly climate-driven, have led to an uncertain future of global significance.
Since 1992, WWF's Global Arctic Programme has been working with our partners across the Arctic to combat threats to the Arctic and to preserve its rich biodiversity in a sustainable way.

Our projects in the Arctic


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Our focus

WWF offices in 7 Arctic countries focus on:

  • protected area management
  • promoting public awareness of important conservation issues
  • national and regional advocacy work for the establishment of appropriate policies

What we do

  • Develop ways to predict resilience of arctic systems to change - this will enable us to take a forward-looking approach to conservation that can endure change.
  • Develop standards and planning tools to ensure that the footprint of industry in the north does not overwhelm already-weakened ecosystems, while recognizing that northern peoples need am economic future.
  • Work to create a rules-based environment, where international rules for how arctic resources should be managed are agreed and enforced.

Our goals

  • Preserve the Arctic's rich biodiversity
  • Ensure that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
  • Reduce pollution and wasteful consumption.

How we work

With governments

Governmental decisions around the world guide and regulate the actions of individuals and businesses.
  • We hold observer status on the Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum for circumpolar co-operation on environment, socio-economic and cultural issues.
  • We press governments to fully implement commitments to the Arctic, including
    • The Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy,
    • The Arctic Council’s Circumpolar Protected Areas Network
    • Treaties and conventions on migratory birds, toxics, climate change and biodiversity

With businesses

Commercial markets are among the strongest driving forces behind how we exploit and affect our natural environment.

WWF promotes mutual respect in business dealings, yet we always retain our right to criticize. We strive to achieve real improvements in corporate environmental performance.
  • We're partnering with Coca-Cola for the Arctic Home campaign, which supports our work in the Last Ice Area

With people

Votes influence politicians, purchasing decisions influence businesses, and individual actions can make a difference.
  • The Umky Patrol, a project to preserve walrus haul-outs and protect people from the polar bears that are attracted to the haul-outs, so all can co-exist harmoniously.
  • The Climate Witness Project portrays the reality of climate change through the experiences of people living in the Arctic.
  • Outside the Arctic, WWF offices all over the world are raising awareness of the effects of climate change, though projects like Earth Hour.

Building on relationships developed between WWF and indigenous peoples groups, arctic governments, and business and industry, WWF is today the best-positioned and most influential environmental NGO in the Arctic.

Where we work

WWF works in ecoregions: areas that are characterised by a distinctive climate, topographical features, or plants and animals.
  1. Fenno-Scandia Alpine Tundra and Taiga - Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden
  2. Barents-Kara Seas - Norway, Russia
  3. Taimyr and Siberian Coastal Tundra - Russia
  4. Eastern Siberian Taiga - Russia
  5. Chukote Coastal Tundra - Russia
  6. Bering-Beaufort-Chukchi Seas - Canada, Russia, USA
  7. Muskwa / Slave Lake Boreal Forests - Canada
  8. Alaskan North Slope Costal Tundra - Canada, USA
  9. Canadian Boreal Forest - Canada
  10. Canadian Low Arctic Tundra - Canada
  11. Lena River Delta - Russia

What is an ecoregion?

Biodiversity is not spread evenly across the Earth but follows complex patterns determined by climate, geology and the evolutionary history of the planet. These patterns are called ecoregions. WWF defines an ecoregion as a large unit of land or water containing a geographically distinct assemblage of species, natural communities, and environmental conditions.
 / ©: UNEP - WCMC / WWF
Arctic ecoregions map.

Our partners

  • One of WWF's guiding principles is to build and strengthen working relationships with other NGOs, governments, business and local communities to enhance its effectiveness. In the Arctic, this work is a vital element of any successful WWF conservation programme, working with those who share WWF's vision and its efforts to achieve conservation.

    The Arctic Council
    The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that provides a mechanism to address the common concerns and challenges faced by the Arctic governments and the people of the Arctic.

    Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI)
    NPI is Norway's main institution for research, environmental monitoring and mapping of the polar regions. We partner with NPI on a number of projects, monitoring the impacts of climate change and toxic pollution on Svalbard.

    Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG)
    PBSG sits under the umbrella of the IUCN/Species Survival Commission and monitors the status and trends of the polar bears. WWF contributes to the monitoring efforts of PBSG members.

    The Global Resource Information Database (GRID) is a division of the United Nations Environment Programme delivering information about environmental management. Joint projects with WWF are intended to make credible, science-based knowledge understandable to the public and for decision-makers working toward a sustainable environment.

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