The Arctic Council, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the United Nations (UN) all acknowledge that the Arctic temperatures are rising faster than any other place on Earth. This is changing the Arctic in visible ways and at an unprecedented speed. Consequences will be far-reaching for marine ecosystems, and the people and communities that rely on them for their livelihoods and cultures.
As the sea ice retreats and the Arctic Ocean becomes increasingly accessible, pressures from human activities are also increasing. These growing pressures increase the risks marine ecosystems and biodiversity are facing and threaten current approaches to marine management and conservation.
Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) is endorsed at the highest level, including UN bodies and states. The Arctic Council embraces Ecosystem-Based Management of human activities in the Arctic to achieve sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services and maintenance of ecosystem integrity and is issuing guidance for its implementation that involve Indigenous peoples, local communities and industry stakeholders. Likewise, EBM is increasingly a topic of interest in universities and academia.
In the Arctic, we are faced with applying EBM in a situation where marine ecosystems are changing fundamentally. How should EBM be pursued when future environmental conditions are increasingly uncertain, rendering data on past conditions are questionable as guides to future dynamics? How should EBM be pursued when the use of Arctic seas for transport and industry is continuously expanding, creating new and expanded pressures in the Arctic?
What We Like to Do:
This conference will exchange current lessons and best practices for the implementation of EBM in the Arctic and examine how these practices reflects the knowledge, the goals, the advise, and the voices of the people living in and from the Arctic. We explore pathways toward a future with a holistic perspective in managing the regions fast changing marine ecosystem.
Who do we Invite:
Through three sessions, that encapsulate different parts of the EBM we invite:
- Keynote speakers to inspire and challenge us.
- Scientists, early career scientists, students (and youth) to present their fields of study (or questions).
- Indigenous Knowledge holders to share and provide guidance based on their cultural values, worldviews, and perspectives.
- Governing bodies to disentangle the challenges of cross-sectorial approaches and explore how they can contribute to apply holistic ecosystem knowledge to decisions, management, and operations in an evolving Arctic.