Next steps for marine ecosystem-based management in the Arctic

23 November 2011 | News story

Ecosystem-based Management has been identified as the best approach to managing the Arctic marine environment. However a number of perceived barriers to implementation of marine ecosystem-based management exist.

IUCN, through its cooperative project with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is exploring ways of advancing implementation of Ecosystem-based Management (EbM) in the Arctic marine environment. A workshop was held in Reykjavik, Iceland on 18-19 September, 2011 with a focus on addressing perceived barriers to EbM, and identifying first steps that States might take collaboratively to advance EbM.
The meeting clarified that there “barriers” are largely fictitious and concluded that:
• EbM is widely enshrined in International Law and Policy
• The Arctic Council has repeatedly and formally embraced EbM
• Arctic States conduct EbM in their marine waters.
• EbM addresses conflicts over development in marine areas.
• Mechanisms to implement EbM are readily available.
• EbM is implemented by individual states under their sovereign authority and control
Arctic States have committed themselves to marine ecosystem-based management at the global and at the Arctic regional levels. The report further explores what benefits would accrue if, building on these efforts, Arctic States were to fashion a regional strategy for EbM implementation.
This meeting built upon the results of the 2010 IUCN/NRDC EbM workshop and aimed to inform the discussion at the first meeting of the Arctic Council Experts Group on EbM.

For more information contact: Thomas Laughlin thomas.laughlin@iucn.org