The last of three thematic pillars of the United States Chairmanship program is “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change”…
At the 9th Arctic Council ministerial meeting, held in Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada in April 2015, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister for the Arctic Council, formally handed the Arctic Council Chairmanship to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, chair of the Arctic Council during the U.S. Chairmanship. On this occasion, Arctic ministers adopted an ambitious new work plan organized around three thematic pillars. The third of these – Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change – will be tackled in part by several specific efforts on adaptation and resilience to be undertaken by the Council’s working groups and task forces in the years ahead.
With the cross-cutting initiative Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA), AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme – amap.no) will continue its existing work on models that can improve projections of climate change in order to inform the development and implementation of adaptation actions by Arctic States and Permanent Participants. AMAP will also work to further develop the Arctic Resilience Report, focusing on the capacity for communities to effectively respond to changes in socio-ecological systems. Insights from the Arctic Resilience Report work will help people living in the Arctic to strengthen their capacity for navigating change under conditions in which rapid and unexpected developments are likely.
SDWG (Sustainable Development Working Group – sdwg.org) will also address adaptation and resilience strategies through its continued support of the online portal arcticadaptationexchange.com. This online portal is one outcome of the project Arctic Adaptation Exchange: Facilitating Adaptation to Climate Change, which has focused on fostering innovative approaches to climate change adaptation and enhancing adaptive capacity.
Furthermore, in order to improve our understanding of climate change vulnerabilities and impacts in the Arctic, working group CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna – caff.is) will develop an invasive species strategy that will address the prevention and management of invasive species. These efforts respond to recommendation IIe and 9 of the landmark 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and 2013 Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, respectively.
This is a small sample of the work planned by the Arctic Council for the next two years to support the goal of addressing the impacts of climate change. A more complete picture can be found in the Senior Arctic Officials’ Report to Ministers from the Iqaluit 2015 ministerial meeting. Click here to read the full report.
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Get to know all six Arctic Council Working Groups: ACAP, AMAP, CAFF, EPPR, PAME and SDWG.
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Photo: Burning holes by Rita Willaert CC-BY-NC.