Wetlands 1PRESS RELEASE: 20 May 2021: Reykjavik, Iceland

A new circumpolar report outlines 20 recommendations to protect and sustain Arctic wetlands--globally important wildlife habitats that store massive amounts of carbon and provide vital ecosystem services and are increasingly at risk from climate change and human disturbance.   

The report says climate-driven permafrost thaw and increased drought conditions impacting Arctic wetland ecosystems will cause greater fire occurrences and shifts in hydrological flows. Sea level change and decline is increasing coastal erosion. Thawing permafrost is projected to transform peatlands from a net sink of greenhouse gases to a net source lasting for several centuries. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to limit these impacts, the report says, along with increased conservation and restoration activities, streamlined governance, better knowledge use, additional classification, mapping and monitoring and coordinated action.

Almost half the world’s wetlands are in the Arctic, where they make up as much as 60% of all Arctic ecosystems. Although most Arctic wetlands currently remain relatively intact, these crucial ecosystems are changing due to climate-change and growing pressures from increased human presence. 

The report, The Resilience and Management of Arctic Wetlands, is designed to maintain and strengthen the resilience of Arctic wetlands and showcase that effective management of wetlands, including conservation and restoration efforts, holds enormous potential to contribute significantly to climate adaptation and mitigation, and conservation. Many of these findings and recommendations are highly relevant both within and outside the Arctic, and Arctic States can act as role models for sustainable use of wetlands.

For further information: 

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. For more information: www.caff.is

Arctic Council

The Arctic Council is 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.  Arctic Council Member States are Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America. In addition to the Member States, the Arctic Council has the category of Permanent Participants who include the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC), Aleut International Association (AIA), Gwich'in Council International (GGI), Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and the Saami Council (SC). For more information: www.arctic-council.org 

Arctic States

dk   ca   fi   is   no   ru   sw   usa

Permanent Participants

aac  raipon  icc   GCI Logo Vertical RGB 121x90  aia  saami_councile