Recommendations

Project Type # Outcome Report Year FEC
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Recommendation16Research and monitor individual and cumulative effects of stressors and drivers of relevance to biodiversity, with a focus on stressors that are expected to have rapid and significant impacts and issues where knowledge is lacking. This should include, but not be limited to, modelling potential future species range changes as a result of these stressors; developing knowledge of and identifying tipping points, thresholds and cumulative effects for Arctic biodiversity; and developing robust quantitative indicators for stressors through the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program.Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for Policy Makers2013
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Recommendation11

Reduce the threat of pollutants to Arctic biodiversity.

a. Support and enhance international efforts and cooperation to identify, assess and reduce existing and emerging harmful contaminants.

b. Support the development of appropriate prevention and clean up measures and technologies that are responsive to oil spills in the Arctic, especially in ice-filled waters, such that they are ready for implementation in advance of major oil and gas developments.

c. Encourage local and national action to implement best practices for local wastes, enhance efforts to clean-up legacy contaminated sites and include contaminant reduction and reclamation plans in development projects.

Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for Policy Makers2013
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Key finding3Climate change is emerging as the most far reaching and significant stressor on Arctic biodiversity. However, contaminants, habitat fragmentation, industrial development, and unsustainable harvest levels continue to have impacts. Complex interactions between climate change and other factors have the potential to magnify impacts on biodiversity.Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010 – Selected indicators of change2010
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Recommendation6Develop guidelines and implement appropriate spatial and temporal measures where necessary to reduce human disturbance to areas critical for sensitive life stages of Arctic species that are outside protected areas, for example along transportation corridors. Such areas include calving grounds, den sites, feeding grounds, migration routes and moulting areas. This also means safeguarding important habitats such as wetlands and polynyas.Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for Policy Makers2013
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Key finding4Increase financial and other support for indigenous peoples and organizations to actively engage in research and science initiatives and to effectively address their concerns.Arctic Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom: Changes in the North American Arctic2017
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Recommendation2Identify measures for detecting early warnings of biodiversity change and triggering conservation actions.Move towards a stronger reliance on early warnings of ecosystem change, rather than on population trends as triggers for making decisions. Aside from catastrophic die-offs and breeding failure, impacts from changes in sea ice are often incremental, such as a reduced rate of reproduction or survival, or less energy intake from prey. Impacts may take years to be detected in population trends, especially for long-lived animals. Measures such as reduced body condition or changes in ice-dependent prey species are evidence of impacts that can be acted on before declines are detected in abundance or distribution. In some cases these earlier actions will prevent or lessen population declines. Factors to consider in selecting such measures of change include long-term costs and benefits, support by research, ability to be updated, and suitability for determining thresholds for action.Life Linked to Ice: A guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change2013
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Recommendation1Actively support international efforts addressing climate change, both reducing stressors and implementing adaptation measures, as an urgent matter. Of specific importance are efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce emissions of black carbon, methane and tropospheric ozone precursors.Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for Policy Makers2013
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Action13

Increase and focus inventory, long-term monitoring and research efforts to address key gaps in scientific knowledge identified in this assessment to better facilitate the development and implementation of conservation and management strategies. Areas of particular concern identified through the ABA include components critical to ecosystem functions including important characteristics of invertebrates, microbes, parasites and pathogens.

13.1. Share research gaps and priorities identified in the ABA with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) third International Conference on Arctic Research Planning to inform their research priorities.

13.2. Complete the Arctic coastal biodiversity monitoring plan and begin implementation.

13.3. Address monitoring and research gaps in scientific knowledge identified as priorities in the ABA and Arctic Biodiversity Congress, including components critical to ecosystem functions including invertebrates, microbes, parasites and pathogens.

13.4. Report on changes in Arctic species, ecosystems, and the effects of stressors through state of Arctic biodiversity reports.

a. Marine species and ecosystems

b. Terrestrial species and ecosystems

c. Freshwater species and ecosystems

d. Coastal species and ecosystems.

13.5. Explore development of a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for the Arctic.

13.6. Develop and update taxonomic lists where there is a gap

a. Red List for Arctic Vascular Plants

b. Moss check list.

13.7. Complete the circumpolar boreal vegetation map.

13.8. Prepare a circumpolar seabird monitoring plan.

Actions for Arctic Biodiversity, 2013-2021: Implementing the recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment2015
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Action

CHALLENGE It can be difficult for researchers to understand Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom, how it is validated, how to best apply it, especially elder wisdom, and how to effectively partner.

POTENTIAL ACTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES Encourage equal partnerships and participation throughout biodiversity assessment projects that affect Indigenous peoples.

Arctic Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom: Changes in the North American Arctic2017
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Key finding5Pollution from both long-range transport and local sources threatens the health of Arctic species and ecosystems.Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for Policy Makers2013
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Action8

Reduce stressors on migratory species range-wide, including habitat degradation and overharvesting on wintering and staging areas and along flyways and other migration routes.

a. Pursue or strengthen formal migratory bird cooperation agreements and other specific actions on a flyway level between Arctic and non-Arctic states with first priority given to the East Asian flyway.

b. Collaborate with relevant international commissions, conventions, networks and other organizations sharing an interest in the conservation of Arctic migratory species to identify and implement appropriate conservation actions.

c. Develop and implement joint management and recovery plans for threatened species with relevant non-Arctic states and entities. d. Identify and advance the conservation of key wintering and staging habitats for migratory birds, particularly wetlands.

Actions for Arctic Biodiversity, 2013-2021: Implementing the recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment2015
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Action

CHALLENGE There is no consistent approach to working with Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom.

POTENTIAL ACTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES Create best practices through demonstration projects and on-the-ground work, including an evaluation of past projects and analysis of what worked and what didn’t.

Arctic Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom: Changes in the North American Arctic2017
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Action3

Advance and advocate ecosystem-based management efforts in the Arctic as a framework for cooperation, planning and development. This includes an approach to development that proceeds cautiously, with sound short and long-term environmental risk assessment and management, using the best available scientific and traditional ecological knowledge, following the best environmental practices, considering cumulative effects and adhering to international standards.

3.1. Provide information (including traditional knowledge) to Arctic Council initiatives that include, or are developing, an ecosystem approach including the principles for incorporation of biodiversity (Action 4.3).

3.2. Ongoing activities based on the revised Terms of Reference of the Joint Ecosystem Approach Expert Group (marine), including preparation of reports on Status of Setting Ecological Objectives, Work on Integrated Ecosystem Assessments of Arctic LMEs, Status of Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach to Management in the Arctic, a scoping document on the use of information on identified areas of heightened ecological and cultural significance for assessment and management purposes within LMEs.

3.3. Follow-up to the Ecosystem-Based Management Expert Group work on advancing ecosystem based management in the work of the Arctic Council.

3.4. Prepare an implementation plan for the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan 2015-2025.

3.5. Continue to promote collaboration among Arctic states as they implement the Polar Code (AMSA IIB).

Actions for Arctic Biodiversity, 2013-2021: Implementing the recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment2015
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)ActionA

Implementation plan for ABA recommendations (Actions for Arctic Biodiversity).

a. Prepare, track, and update biennially the plan.

b. Review and update actions in plan by all Working Groups and Task Forces related to ABA recommendations.

c. Evaluate progress on implementing the ABA recommendations and produce recommendations for follow-up work.

d. Encourage states to develop national implementation plans consistent with this implementation plan for the ABA recommendations as an essential adaptation measure.

Actions for Arctic Biodiversity, 2013-2021: Implementing the recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment2015
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Recommendation13Increase and focus inventory, long-term monitoring and research efforts to address key gaps in scientific knowledge identified in this assessment to better facilitate the development and implementation of conservation and management strategies. Areas of particular concern identified through the ABA include components critical to ecosystem functions including important characteristics of invertebrates, microbes, parasites and pathogens.Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: Report for Policy Makers2013
Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA)Key finding5Changes in Arctic biodiversity are creating both challenges and opportunities for Arctic peoples.Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010 – Selected indicators of change2010
Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS)2

Improve the capacity of the Arctic Council and its partners to make well-informed decisions on the needs, priorities, and options for preventing, eradicating, and controlling invasive alien species in the Arctic by improving the knowledge base.

Priority Action 2.1 Identify and assess:

a) the invasive alien species and pathways that pose the greatest risk of biological invasion into, within, and out of Arctic ecosystems;

b) the Arctic ecosystems, livelihoods, and cultural resources most vulnerable to biological invasion; and

c) the current and projected patterns and trends of introduction and impacts of invasive alien species in the Arctic.

Priority Action 2.2 Produce a series of topic-specific assessments of invasive alien species issues in the Arctic considering scientific, TLK, technical, environmental, economic, socio-cultural, legal, and institutional perspectives.

Priority Action 2.3 Improve the collection of information on the occurrence and impacts of Arctic invasive alien species, taking advantage of new technologies for early detection, and integrate this information into circumpolar, regional, and community-based observing networks, monitoring programs, (in particular the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme), and associated information systems such as (the Arctic Biodiversity Data Service).

Priority Action 2.4 Facilitate full, timely, and open sharing of data and other information relevant to Arctic invasive alien speciesprevention and management through the Arctic Biodiversity Data Service and the CAFF Web portal.

Implementation Action 2.1: Use tools such as risk analysis, horizon scanning, and site-based prioritization in identifying and assessing pathways that pose the greatest risk of biological invasions.

Implementation Action 2.2: Priorities for topic-specific assessments of invasive alien species include assessments of: the current status, projected trends, and impacts of alien species in the Arctic region; pathways of biological invasion; legal and institutional frameworks for addressing invasive alien species in the Arctic (including for border controls and importation); regional prevention and EDRR capacities; and the relationship between invasive alien species and indigenous peoples/local communities in the Arctic. These assessments should utilize both TLK and science, as appropriate, including the outputs of priority Action 2.1.

Implementation Action 2.3: The portal for information relevant to Arctic invasive alien species would include example scientific and technical information, best practices and tools, institutional and legal frameworks, and education/outreach materials. Utilize the Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS) and the CAFF website.

Arctic Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan2017
Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS)1

Raise awareness of the unique opportunity that the Arctic Council and its partners have to inspire the urgent and effective action necessary to protect the Arctic from invasive alien species.

Priority Action 1.1 Promote and, as needed, develop targeted communications and outreach initiatives to raise awareness of the urgent need and unique opportunity to protect the Arctic region from the adverse impacts of invasive alien species;

Priority Action 1.2 Encourage Arctic States and non-Arctic States (including Arctic Council Observer States), working collaboratively with Permanent Participants, to implement effective programs for preventing the introduction and controlling the spread of invasive alien species through domestic actions and/or international agreements and relevant guidelines, such as the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments, and the IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species (Biofouling Guidelines);

Priority Action 1.3 Promote and coordinate the Arctic Council’s work on invasive alien species with relevant scientific, technical, and policy-making bodies and instruments; and

Priority Action 1.4 Encourage the integration of the outputs of the Arctic Council’s work on invasive alien species into international efforts and legal and institutional frameworks, especially planning and coordination mechanisms, including at the national and sub-national levels, where appropriate.

Implementation Action 1.1 Employ innovative approaches for awareness raising, including the use of multi-media platforms and collaboration with relevant industries (such as tourism, energy, fisheries, mining, and shipping) and local communities. Use the outputs of priority Actions 2.1 and 2.2 to identify key messages, prioritize target audiences, and determine effective communications approaches.

Implementation Action 1.2: In particular, consider the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments, and the IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer ofinvasive aquatic species (Biofouling Guidelines);

Implementation Action 1.3: Integrate invasive alien species issues, as appropriate, into all Arctic Council working groups and other subsidiary bodies. Use priority Actions 2.1 and 2.2 to establish linkages and priorities.

Implementation Action 1.4: Examples of international efforts and legal and institutional frameworks where the outputs of the Arctic Council’s work on invasive alien species could be integrated include: Convention on Biological Diversity; International Maritime Organization; World Organization for Animal Health; Ramsar Convention; Convention on Migratory Species; Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses; and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Arctic Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan2017
Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS)3

Protect Arctic ecosystems and human well-being by instituting prevention and early detection/rapid response programs for invasive alien species as a matter of priority.

Priority Action 3.1 Collaborate with industries, such as, tourism, energy, fisheries, mining, and shipping, and other stakeholders, as relevant, to develop and implement a wide range of biosecurity measures for points of entry and along priority pathways to reduce the initial transfer of species.

Priority Action 3.2 Encourage the establishment of new, or strengthen existing, surveillance, monitoring, reporting, and rapid response programs necessary to ensure EDRR at points of entry. Consideration of TLK and community-based monitoring programs should be encouraged.

Priority Action 3.3 Encourage the development and sharing of tools to enable EDRR for invasive alien species that may pose a substantial threat to the Arctic.

Priority Action 3.4 Actively facilitate the eradication of invasive alien species from island ecosystems throughout the Arctic as well as the recovery of native island species and habitats that have been impacted by those invasive alien species.

Priority Action 3.5 Develop guidance for the use and transfer of native and alien species to and throughout the Arctic environment, and identify opportunities to foster ecological resistance and resilience to environmental change.

Priority Action 3.6 Collect information on best practices and assess whether there is a need for International Maritime Organization to develop Arctic specific guidance for minimizing the threat posed by ballast water and biofouling as vectors for the transfer of aquatic invasive alien species from shipping.

Priority Action 3.7 Foster development of the innovative research, tools, and technologies needed to advance invasive alien species prevention and EDRR capacities in the Arctic region, including through support from funding programs.

Implementation Action 3.1: When collaborating with industries to develop and implement biosecurity measures, these measures may be voluntary (e.g. social marketing initiatives, local eradication programs, and codes of conduct) and/or legally binding (for example, national-level implementation of international standards). A Hazards Analysis Critical Control Points approach may be of particular value. Take the outputs of priority Actions 2.1 and 2.2 into consideration.

Implementation Action 3.2: In order to facilitate early detection and rapid response, place emphasis on airports, sea ports, and their surrounding areas, take community based monitoring programs into consideration.

Implementation Action 3.3: In order to facilitate early detection and rapid response, include decision support frameworks, cooperative agreements, flexible funding mechanisms, and technical tools such as watch lists, identification applications, and guides.

Arctic Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan2017
Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI)Action2

Mitigate effects of over-abundant white geese populations on shorebird habitat

2.1 Implement management actions resulting from study of white geese impacts in Canada (undertaken as part of AMBI Phase 1)

AMBI Work Plan 2019-2025: Americas Flyway2021