In 2008, the United Nations Environment Program passed a resolution expressing ‘extreme concern’ over the impacts of climate change on Arctic indigenous peoples, other communities, and biodiversity.1 It highlighted the potentially significant consequences of changes in the Arctic. The Arctic Biodiversity Trends - 2010: Selected Indicators of Change report provides evidence that some of those anticipated impacts on Arctic biodiversity are already occurring. Furthermore, although climate change is a pervasive stressor, multiple stressors, such as long range transport of contaminants, harvesting of wild species, and resource development are also impacting Arctic biodiversity. The following key messages include a selection of indicators from the Arctic Biodiversity Trends report
The Ottawa Declaration of 1996 formally established the Arctic Council as a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.
The scientific work of the Arctic Council is carried out in six expert working groups focusing on such issues as monitoring, assessing and preventing pollution in the Arctic, climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, emergency preparedness and prevention in addition to the living conditions of the Arctic residents.
The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, a report containing the best available science informed by Traditional Ecological Knowledge on the status and trends of Arctic biodiversity has been released at the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting. Photo: Carsten Egevang/ARC-PIC.com