Key findings

Photo: Dan Bach Kristiansen/

Read the nine key findings of the Report for Policy Makers

Policy recommendations

Photo: Andy38/

Read the recommendations for policy arising from the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment


Download the policy report

Download the Report for Policy Makers



 Arctic biodiversity is being degraded, but decisive action taken now can help sustain vast, relatively undisturbed ecosystems of tundra, mountains, fresh water and seas and the valuable services they provide.


Climate change is by far the most serious threat to Arctic biodiversity and exacerbates all other threats.



Many Arctic migratory species are threatened by overharvest and habitat alteration outside the Arctic, especially birds along the East Asian flyway.


Disturbance and habitat degradation can diminish Arctic biodiversity and the opportunities for Arctic residents and visitors to enjoy the benefits of ecosystem services.


Pollution from both long-range transport and local sources threatens the health of Arctic species and ecosystems.


There are currently few invasive alien species in the Arctic, but more are expected with climate change and increased human activity.


Overharvest was historically the primary human impact on many Arctic species, but sound management has successfully addressed this problem in most, but not all, cases.


Current knowledge of many Arctic species, ecosystems and their stressors is fragmentary, making detection and assessment of trends and their implications difficult for many aspects of Arctic biodiversity.


The challenges facing Arctic biodiversity are interconnected, requiring comprehensive solutions and international cooperation.

Steering committee 

  • Mark Marissink, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency; (chair)
  • Tom Barry, CAFF International Secretariat; 
  • Cindy Dickson, Arctic Athabaskan Council; 
  • Vicky Johnston, Environment Canada; 
  • Aulikki Alanen, Finnish Ministry of the Environment; 
  • Inge Thaulow, Ministry of Housing, Nature and Environment, Greenland;  
  • Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, Russian Institute for Nature Conservation; 
  • Gilbert Castellanos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Previous steering committee members

  • Bridget Larocque, Gwich’in Council International;
  • Trish Hayes, Environment Canada; 
  • Risa Smith, Environment Canada; 
  • Janet Hohn, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 
  • Ævar Petersen, Icelandic Institute of Natural History;
  • Esko Jaakkola, Finnish Ministry of the Environment; 
  • Tiina Kurvitz, UNEP GRID-Arendal; 
  • Christoph Zöckler, UNEP WCMC.

Lead countries 

Canada, Finland, Greenland, Sweden and the United States

Funding and support

The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment has received financial support from the following sources: Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, United States of America, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the Chief Scientist was financed by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency as part of the environmental support programme DANCEA. 





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