The Freshwater Steering Group of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) is responsible for the implementation of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan, one of the four pan-Arctic biodiversity monitoring plans developed by the CBMP to improve the detection and understanding of the causes of long-term change in the composition, structure and function of Arctic ecosystems.

The FEMG is a forum for scientists, community experts and managers to promote, facilitate, share and coordinate research and monitoring activities.

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The FEMG´s goal is to promote, facilitate, coordinate and harmonize freshwater biodiversity monitoring activities among circumpolar countries and to improve ongoing communication amongst and between scientists, community experts, managers and disciplines both inside and outside the Arctic.

It will do this through the development and implementation of the Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring Plan, released in 2013.



To develop a multi-disciplinary, integrated, pan-Arctic long-term freshwater biodiversity surveillance assessment that:

  • Responds to identified science questions and user needs;
  • Identifies an essential set of indicators for freshwater ecosystems that are suited for measurement and implementation on a circumpolar level;
  • Creates a strategy for the use and organization of existing research and operational monitoring capacity and information (scientific, community-based, and TK);
  • Establishes and promotes effective communication and linkages among Arctic freshwater researchers and monitoring groups;
  • Identifies key abiotic parameters, relevant to freshwater biodiversity, that need ongoing monitoring;
  • Addresses current gaps in coverage (elemental, spatial and temporal); and
  • Identifies a core set of standardized protocols and optimal sampling strategies for monitoring Arctic freshwaters.

To facilitate implementation of the long-term monitoring plan and reporting on the state of circumpolar Arctic freshwater ecosystems by:

  • Developing a global network of Arctic freshwater biodiversity monitoring sites through preparation of inventory lists, interactive maps and online forums;
  • Establishing a state-of-the art biodiversity monitoring plan for the circumpolar Arctic focused on early warning of environmental change;
  • Defining and standardizing efforts of sampling, data collection, and taxonomic identification;
  • Assessing current status of biodiversity and biodiversity monitoring in the Arctic and forecasting future changes in Arctic freshwater biodiversity;
  • Producing value-added integration among researchers and disciplines through assessments (e.g., Arctic Biodiversity Assessment), co-authored scientific publications, and data sharing;
  • Deliver the information to stakeholders and contributors that provided TK (local communities), and scientific data (scientific community); and
  • Preparing outputs to trigger policy response to changes in Arctic biodiversity through international synthesis reports and ad-hoc reports aimed at policy makers; and
  •  To foster new research initiatives to improve environmental prediction for Arctic freshwaters.


FEMG members





Willem Goedkoop
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Joseph Culp
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Jennifer Lento
University of New Brunswick


Petri Liljaniemi
Ministry of the Environment



 Kirsten S. Christoffersen 
University of Copenhagen


Elena Fefilova
Institute of Biology Komi Science Centre
Russian Academy of Sciences 


Jón S. Ólafsson

Marine and Freshwater Research Institute


Steinar Sandoy
Norwegian Environment Agency


Chris Zimmerman
United States Geological Survey



Jan Rene Larsen
AMAP Secretariat

CBMP Co-Chair representative

CBMP Logo LG FNL low

Tom Christensen
Aarhus University- Arctic Research Centre

Catherine Coon
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management



Kári Fannar Lárusson

*indicates current chair 


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