Implementing the recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment

Actions for Biodiversity 2013-2021: implementing the recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, is the implementation plan for the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment's 17 recommendations. It is a living document that will be reviewed and updated every two years. The plan is not meant to be exhaustive or to replace working group work plans; rather it is complementary, emphasizing specific actions that address the ABA recommendations.

The Arctic Council Ministers agreed to implement 17 recommendations articulated in the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for Policy Makers. Implementing the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) recommendations requires a combination of building on existing efforts and embarking in new directions. 


Ongoing actions

Many ongoing actions are critical to successful implementation of the ABA recommendations. Ongoing actions are listed under the most relevant recommendation. If there is a specific deliverable, the action is included under the appropriate phase.


Phase 1: 2013-2015

The focus was on the development of the implementation plan and initiating key actions directed at:

  • short-lived climate forcers (Recommendation 1);
  • ecosystem-based management (Recommendation 3);
  • mainstreaming biodiversity (Recommendation 4);
  • addressing stressors on biodiversity, in particular oil spills (Recommendation 11);
  • stressors on migratory species (Recommendation 8);
  • improving knowledge and public awareness, in particular, improving access to data (Recommendation 13), integrating traditional knowledge (Recommendation 14), evaluating ecosystem services (Recommendation 12) and communication and outreach tools (Recommendation 17); and
  • safeguarding important marine areas (Recommendation 6).


Phase 2: 2015-2017

Continuing focus on:

  • mainstreaming biodiversity (Recommendation 4),
  • reducing stressors on migratory birds (Recommendation 8),
  • ecosystem services evaluation (Recommendation 12), and
  • communications and outreach (Recommendation 17).

Additional focus on:

  • adaptation to climate change (Recommendation 2);
  • addressing stressors on biodiversity, in particular, migratory species (Recommendation 8), invasive species (Recommendation 9) and pollution (Recommendation 11);
  • safeguarding critical areas (Recommendations 5, 6, and 7); and
  • improving knowledge and public awareness, in particular, monitoring and traditional and local knowledge (Recommendations 13, 14, and 15), and indicator development (Recommendation 16).


Phase 3: 2017-2019

The added focus will be on:

  • safeguarding biodiversity under changing conditions (Recommendation 7); 
  • cumulative effects (Recommendation 16); and
  • improving knowledge and public awareness (Recommendation 17), including by contributing to the Convention on Biological Diversity assessment on achievement of the United NationsR17; Aichi Biodiversity Targets and convening the second Arctic Biodiversity Congress.


Phase 4: 2019-2021

The focus for the final implementation period will be on completing projects, implementing strategies and plans developed in early phases, evaluating progress, and designing follow-up.


Actions for Arctic Biodiveristy Timeline 

Who are the recommendations for?

The ABA recommendations are directed to the Arctic Council as a whole. While some are intended to be implemented through CAFF, others are intended to be led in full, or in part, by other Arctic Council working groups and other subsidiary bodies. Some recommendations will require action by national authorities, stakeholders, and international organizations. 


How was the action plan developed? 

The Action Plan went through a three phase process of development and was informed by the results of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress and discussions with Arctic Council countries, Permanent Participants, Working Groups, Task Forces, and Observers, is in response to this directive.

  • Each recommendation was analysed to identify gaps and propose implementation options.
  • Options were reviewed and actions developed for each recommendation.
  • Priorities were set using the following criteria:
    • To what degree will implementation improve or prevent deterioration in (considering probability of success and timeframe of expected impacts):
      • Arctic species abundance and distribution,
      • sensitive ecosystems upon which Arctic species rely, or
      • benefits that people receive from ecosystems and biodiversity?
    • How well are the Arctic Council working groups and CAFF in particular, positioned to carry out this action, or to influence others to do so?
    • What level of resources are required to implement the action: is it doable with existing resources; moderate additional resources needed; or, high level of additional resources needed?

This process took into consideration the timeframe of results, giving higher weight to those actions likely to show benefits to Arctic biodiversity within the life of this plan, but still placing value on actions addressing longer-term, more fundamental needs to conserve biodiversity. Actions for earlier periods are generally more fully developed, as many actions in the latter periods of the plan depend upon priority-setting exercises, initial scoping projects, or groundwork to develop partnerships and secure commitments of resources. The resulting suite of implementation actions has extensive cross-linkages with many actions contributing to meeting more than one recommendation.


What are the actions and when will they be acted upon?

The following chart can be accessed when downloading the Actions for Arctic Biodiversity 2013-2021: Implementing the recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment document. 


Arctic States

dk   ca   fi   is   no   ru   sw   usa

Permanent Participants

aac  raipon  icc   GCI Logo Vertical RGB 121x90  aia  saami_councile