The Ecosystem-Based Management expert group, which started its work in 2011, has developed four background documents and a final report addressing the group’s recommendations, which include a policy commitment, a definition of EBM in the Arctic, a set of principles for EBM in the Arctic, and a set of high-priority activities for coordinating and improving the EBM work of the Arctic Council. Examples include the need to develop an overarching EBM goal for the Arctic Council, implement international EBM initiatives, and ensure coordination and reporting for EBM activities of the Arctic Council and its working groups. The Expert Group concluded its work by delivering its final report to the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting in May 2013.
2011 Nuuk Declaration of the Arctic Council Ministers, May 12, 2011
Decide to establish an expert group on Arctic ecosystem-based management (EBM) for the Arctic environment to recommend further activities in this field for possible consideration by the SAOs before the end of the Swedish chairmanship.
Senior Arctic Officials Report to the Ministers, May 2011
Ecosystem-based Management (EBM)
Human activities in the Arctic are increasing, and planning and management of these activities on a cross-sectoral basis can assist in reducing conflict among activities and in supporting the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
The Senior Arctic Officials recognize the desirability of exchanging information regarding marine and landscape planning and management among the Arctic States, and encouraging compatibility of planning approaches on an ecosystem basis.
We recommend that Ministers convene an ecosystem-based management (EBM) expert group, reporting to the Senior Arctic Officials, composed of governmental experts from the Arctic States and representatives of the Permanent Participants. The expert group should consider developing a common understanding of EBM, consider EBM principles for marine and terrestrial areas, and consider developing Arctic-specific guidelines for applying the ecosystem approach to all relevant areas of work in the Arctic Council. If appropriate, the work of the expert group could be presented at the next Ministerial meeting in 2013.
Arctic Council EBM Experts Group
The first meeting of the Arctic Council Ecosystem-based Management Experts Group was hosted by the United States at the U.S. Department of the Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C on October 18-19 2011. Evan Bloom, Director of the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Magnus Johannesson, Secretary General, Iceland Ministry for the Environment, and Dr Mia Dahlstrom, EBM Specialist, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management co-chaired the meeting, which included nearly two dozen participants from seven of the eight Arctic countries, three permanent participant groups, and representatives from the CAFF and PAME working groups.
Read the full report from the first EBM Experts Group meeting to see which topics emerged as areas worthy of future discussion by the Expert Group.
The second meeting of the Arctic Council Ecosystem-based Management Expert Group took place April 16-18, 2012 and was hosted by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management in Gothenburg, Sweden. The meeting was co-chaired by Evan Bloom, Director of the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Magnús Jóhannesson, Secretary General, Iceland Ministry for the Environment and Laura Píriz, Senior Analyst, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. The meeting was attended by 32 participants, including delegates from seven Arctic States, one permanent participant group, several observer organizations, and representatives from the SDWG, PAME, AMAP and CAFF working groups.
Read the Report to the Senior Arctic Officials on the 2nd Arctic Council Ecosystem-based Management Experts Group Meeting for details about the discussion topics and outcomes of the meeting.