The Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) is hosting a symposium focussed on assessing species vulnerability in the lead up to the Arctic Biodiversity Congress

The NPI's "Symposium: assessing vulnerability of flora and fauna in polar areas" will occur November 3-4, 2014, Results from this event will be presented at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress one month later on December 2-4, 2014.

For more information, please contact Dag Vongraven, NPI

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and Conservation of the Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) are looking for an early career researcher to take part in an upcoming CAFF project, the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for the Arctic Scoping Study

We are looking for an early career Arctic researcher who is interested in the fields of ecosystem services, natural capital, and socio-economic benefits of biodiversity. We are particularly looking for a researcher with a strong interest in Arctic governance in relation to ecosystem science.

The first stage of the project is to help in the early stages of this study through attendance at a technical workshop in Reykjavik, May 13-14, 2014. CAFF will cover the costs for attendance at the meeting. The role of the APECS representative at the workshop would be to contribute to reviewing progress on the project and setting directions for further work. A secondary role in helping the project coordinator take notes during discussions. This is a workshop of 20 to 25 participants only.

Post workshop CAFF and the APECS representative will work together to determine your role following the workshop, and we would expect you to bring your ideas on this to the workshop. Potential involvement could include reviewing and synthesizing information on international, national or regional initiatives that could inform this scoping study, being a contributing author to the project report, synthesizing and analyzing the results of our web-based questionnaire, and/or undertaking to compile, analyze and report on a dataset or two (related to Arctic ecosystem services) as a case study. Further work on the project would need to be done over the late spring/summer period, as the first draft of the project report is due September 30, 2014.

Although no funds are available to pay for the time spent on the project you will receive the benefits of working with a diverse, keen, engaged group of professionals, and you will have an opportunity to contribute to a circumpolar project that is aimed at raising the profile of ecosystem services in all areas of decision-making. All contributions will be fully recognized in the final report, which will be tabled with Arctic Council.

If you are interested please send a CV, a one page summary of your work and how it fits with the projects overall themes to  info EP_AT apecs EP_DOT is by April 19th, 2014. As this project is mutli-year we expect applicants to commit to the completion of this project.

If you have any questions, please contact APECS at:  info EP_AT apecs EP_DOT is.



Youngsters at a fishing hole in Greenland. Photo: Lawrence Hislop, UNEP-GRID ArendalUntil the second half of the 20th century, overharvest was the primary threat to a number of Arctic mammals, birds and fishes. A wide variety of conservation and management actions have helped alleviate this pressure in many areas to such an extent that many populations are recovering, although pressures on others persist, according to the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment.

Even though historically overharvest was one of the most common pressures on Arctic wildlife, it is also the most manageable, says the report. The threat of overharvest has been greatly reduced in the Arctic in part because sufficient knowledge exists to develop effective conservation measures and to build support for those actions. In most areas, hunting and fishing are regulated, at least for species of conservation concern. Indeed, the pressure from overharvest has been largely removed as a major conservation concern for most species due to improved management and conservation actions. 

Improved management and conservation actions are based on greater understanding of the potential for harm to species and ecosystems, better regulation and enforcement, and in many cases on greater engagement with Arctic peoples. The incorporation of traditional values, practices and knowledge can help improve both management and enforcement. In many cases local community observations and data collection is central to effecting changes in management regimes.

Muskox ground survey in Greenland, a partnership with local hunters. Photo: Christine CuylerTo date, many examples exist of Arctic peoples describing the changes they witness related to climate, sea ice and especially to harvested wildlife species. There is a persistent need for more community-based monitoring that can detect change, interpret and integrate results, and lead to prompt decision-making to help tackle environmental challenges at operational levels of resource management.

Greenland’s effort to increase community-based monitoring with management provides one of the promising stories that is becoming more common in the Arctic. In addition to other existing local monitoring efforts, the Greenland government is piloting a natural resource monitoring system called Piniakkanik sumiiffinni nalunaarsuineq (Opening Doors to Native Knowledge), whereby local people and local authority staff are directly involved in data collection, interpretation and resource management.

The increased need for information and the necessity of promoting locally relevant knowledge and management actions suggest that there are substantial prospects in the coming decades for more community-based monitoring around the Arctic, and that such an increase will contribute to effective local conservation actions.

A comprehensive and integrated approach is needed to address the interconnected and complex challenges facing biodiversity and to ensure informed policy decisions are taken in a changing Arctic. The threat of overharvest has improved dramatically in recent decades across the Arctic, and working with harvesters has been key to better conservation. Arctic nations and peoples can achieve much more for biodiversity when they work together to ensure that unique environments and species exist for the benefit of future generations.



Tom Barry, +354 861-9824,  tom EP_AT caff EP_DOT is

Executive Secretary, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna

About the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)

CAFF is the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council and consists of National Representatives assigned by each of the eight Arctic Council Member States, representatives of Indigenous Peoples' organizations that are Permanent Participants to the Council, and Arctic Council observer countries and organizations. CAFF´s mandate is to address the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and to communicate its findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic, helping to promote practices which ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources.  





The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity Working Group of the Arctic Council, is seeking individuals and organizations to provide presentations, organize sessions and submit posters that will encourage a dialogue on Arctic biodiversity among scientists, indigenous peoples, policy makers, government officials, northerners and industry representatives at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress.

Submit via the online submission system

The Arctic Biodiversity Congress will be held in Trondheim, Norway on December 2-4, 2014. The purpose of the Congress is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity through dialogue among scientists, policy-makers, government officials, indigenous peoples, industry and civil society. The Congress is also a key response to the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA).

Congress Themes:

  1. Climate change: Arctic biodiversity, resilience and adaptation
  2. Mainstreaming biodiversity: linking Arctic ecosystems to society
  3. Understanding cumulative effects and managing impacts on biodiversity

Learn more about the Arctic Biodiversity Congress program and register now.


Thank you for your interest in participating in and contributing to the Arctic Biodiversity Congress!

Please contact  caff EP_AT caff EP_DOT is if you have any questions.

The three books arising from the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment are now available for sale. Purchase at the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment online store.


The ABA full scientific report.

674 pages, full colour, $55 US.

The ABA synthesis report.

128-pages, full colour, $20 US.

The ABA policy report.

24-pages, full colour, $10 US.



  • Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Status and trends in Arctic biodiversity- a comprehensive peer-reviewed scientific assessment report identifying status and trends in Arctic biodiversity. This report provides detailed scientific information informed by Traditional Ecological Knowledge and is geared towards researchers, scientists, students and managers who need in-depth information on Arctic biodiversity. 674-pages, full colour, $55 US. 
  • Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Synthesis- A summary document of the main findings of the larger scientific assessment. It is designed for managers, practitioners, scientists, students and others working to understand and conserve Arctic biodiversity. 128-pages, full colour, 20 cm x 20 cm, $20 US.
  • Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for policy makers- A brief summary of the report as relevant for a policy and decision-making audience in government, industry and scientific circles. The document provides nine key findings and 17 recommendations for policy. 24-pages, full colour, 20 cm x 20 cm, $10 US.


The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment:

  • creates a baseline for use in global and regional assessments of Arctic biodiversity which will inform and guide future Arctic Council work;
  • provides up-to-date knowledge gathered from scientific publications supplemented with insights from traditional knowledge holders;
  • identifies gaps in the data record;
  • describes key mechanisms driving change; and
  • presents science-based suggestions for action on addressing major pressures on Arctic biodiversity.


Quantities are limited!


For more information visit the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment website

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