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Unveiling new levels of protection at Arctic Biodiversity Congress

10 October 2018
Monacobreen Mountain  Svalbard Adobe Stock 161296651


UNEP-WCMC is working in partnership with the Arctic Council to provide new insight to the second Arctic Biodiversity Congress this week, held from 9-12 October 2018 in Rovaniemi, Finland.

The Congress, organised by the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group of the Arctic Council, and the Ministry of the Environment, Finland, is designed to promote the conservation and sustainable use of Arctic biodiversity, and will bring together scientists, indigenous peoples, policy makers, government officials, students, and representatives from industry and civil society.

Neville Ash, Director of UNEP-WCMC, will be providing concluding remarks to the Conference, as well as chairing a session that will bring UNEP-WCMC’s experiences of engaging the extractives sector to bear on the Arctic conservation agenda. In that session Matt Jones, Head of Programme for Business and Biodiversity, will be sharing insight on strengthening business approaches for biodiversity management.

UNEP-WCMC will also present its leading global biodiversity modelling work in an Arctic context, and provide the Arctic community with new information on levels of protection in the Arctic. This includes newly-updated information on protected areas across the Arctic in Protected Planet, produced in collaboration between UNEP-WCMC and CAFF, which will be presented for the first time at the Congress. These new data show increased levels of formal protection across the Arctic, demonstrating progress in the region towards global UN biodiversity targets and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Neville commented: “This week’s release of a Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provides clear evidence of the impacts of existing and future global warming and climate variability. As melting ice opens up new areas of the Arctic the existing network of Arctic protected areas will need to be revisited, and we now have a much better baseline of information to contribute to these discussions. UNEP-WCMC’s expertise in planning and protected areas, assessment and policy support, private sector engagement, and nature-based solutions to climate change are all central to the future of the Arctic.”

“Just last Wednesday 3 October an international moratorium on Arctic fishing was agreed that will safeguard a large area of sea that is opening up under climate change, and it is through such global gatherings as this Conference that we can build on this momentum and ensure the sustainable safeguarding of the Arctic.”


Image: Lauri -