The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) was endorsed by the Arctic Council in 2006. The aims of the ABA are to provide a much needed description of the current state of the Arctic’s ecosystems and biodiversity, create a baseline for use in global and regional assessments of biodiversity, and provide a basis to inform and guide future Arctic Council work.
In addition, it will provide up-to-date scientific and traditional ecological knowledge, identify gaps in the data record, identify key mechanisms driving change, and produce policy recommendations regarding Arctic biodiversity.
The first deliverable of the ABA is was the overview report, Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Selected Indicators of Change which presented a preliminary assessment of status and trends in Arctic biodiversity and is based on the suite of indicators developed by the CBMP.
For this report, twenty-two indicators were selected to provide a snapshot of the trends being observed in Arctic biodiversity today. The indicators were selected to cover major species groups with wide distributions across Arctic ecosystems. Special consideration was given to indicators closely associated with biodiversity use by indigenous and local communities, as well as those with relevance to decision-makers. Indicators were also selected on the basis of what was achievable in terms of existing data and in the timeframe available. Each indicator chapter provides an overview of the status and trends of a given indicator, information on stressors, and concerns for the future.
Traditional ecological knowledge is vital to form a more complete picture of the status and trends in Arctic biodiversity. TEK is actively being sought out and incorporated into the larger ABA scientific report, scheduled for 2013. The scientific report will further develop and elaborate on the findings of the Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010 report, including different approaches to natural resource management.
The ABA is also the Arctic Council's response to global conservation needs. While there is a clear concern for the future of Arctic nature, this applies even more to global biodiversity. The Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010 report was an Arctic Council contribution to the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity in 2010 and at the same time a contribution to the CBD´s 3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook to measure progress towards the 2010 Biodiversity Target.
Visit the Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010 website.