Arctic ecosystems are changing at an increasing rate as a result of climate change and human impacts. There are major concerns about these accelerating environmental changes which will have severe implications for marine biodiversity and for the people who depend upon healthy ecosystems for their livelihoods.
In response, the Nordic and other Arctic countries tasked the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council to develop the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme (CBMP). The CBMP works to coordinate biodiversity monitoring. This project focuses on the CBMP’s Marine component.
The CBMP Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Plan was published in 2011 to guide and coordinate marine monitoring in the Arctic. CBMP Marine is led by a steering group composed of representatives from the Arctic coastal states and representatives of permanent participants of the Arctic Council. Currently, the group is chaired by Greenland. In 2017 the CBMP Marine group published in the State of the Arctic Biodiversity Report (SAMBR), a synthesis of the status and trends of the Arctic Marine Environment.
The SAMBR report provides recommendations to improve monitoring and improve the state of knowledge for decision making for the sustainable management of the Arctic at national, regional and local decision scales. It provides an important baseline to further prioritize issues for further cooperation within CAFF and the Arctic Council.
The funding from Nordic Arctic Co-operation Programme is devoted to preparations for a scoping workshop that aims to facilitate further consultation with relevant experts, such as from other Arctic Council working groups e.g. AMAP.