Arctic Biodiversity Assessment Report for Policy MakersThe Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA): Report for Policy Makers makes nine key findings and 17 policy relevant recommendations

The recommendations are aimed primarily at the Arctic Council, its member states and Permanent Participants. Success in conserving Arctic biodiversity, however, also depends upon actions by non-Arctic states, regional and local authorities, industry and all who live, work and travel in the Arctic. These recommendations may, therefore, also provide a guide for action for states, authorities, and organizations beyond the Arctic Council. Some of the ABA recommendations directly encourage cooperation with those outside the Arctic Council process.

Large tracts of the Arctic remain relatively undisturbed providing an opportunity for proactive action that can minimize or even prevent future problems that would be costly, or impossible, to reverse. The key findings of the ABA are interrelated and responding to them would benefit from a holistic approach. When taken together, three cross-cutting themes are evident: 

  1. the significance of climate change as the most serious underlying driver of overall change in biodiversity;
  2. the necessity of taking an ecosystem-based approach to management; and
  3. the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity by making it integral to other policy fields, for instance by ensuring biodiversity objectives are considered in development standards, plans and operations.

A comprehensive and integrated approach is needed to address the interconnected and complex challenges facing biodiversity and to ensure informed policy decisions in a changing Arctic. In addition to many Arctic Council initiatives underway, there are other conventions and processes addressing these cross-cutting themes and many of the individual stressors acting on biodiversity. This includes many regulatory and non-regulatory measures that are in place or under development to provide consistent standards and/or approaches to development in the Arctic. Many of these can, or do, provide safeguards for biodiversity 

Care was taken in the development of the ABA recommendations to review recommendations from other major Arctic Council initiatives. Many of the recommendations overlap and are mutually supportive, emphasizing the importance of considering all recommendations together. Some of the ABA recommendations reinforce the significance to biodiversity of recommendations or actions already underway, others build upon existing recommendations or processes, and others are more specifically focused on biodiversity issues. All are important to ensure the conservation of Arctic species, ecosystems and the services they provide.


Global Linkages

International linkages panel at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress. Photo: IISDRS

Resolutions of Cooperation

CAFF and CMS sign resolution of Cooperation, 2012. Photo: CAFF

International Partners

The CAFF, PAME and Arctic Council Secretariats. Photo: Bjarni Eiriksson

Policy Recommendations

Participants at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress. Photo: Bjarni Eiriksson

Policy Framework

CAFF Biennial 2015 participants. Photo: Linnea Nordström/Arctic Council Secretariat

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Policy Development

SAO meeting 2014. Photo: Arctic Council

Arctic States

dk   ca   fi   is   no   ru   sw   usa

Permanent Participants

aac  raipon  icc   GCI Logo Vertical RGB 121x90  aia  saami_councile