The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) released at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting on Wednesday said the Arctic biodiversity has degraded.
According to the report, "Arctic biodiversity is being degraded, but decisive action taken now can help sustain the vast, relatively undisturbed ecosystems of tundra, mountains, fresh water and seas and the valuable services they provide."
The ABA identified "climate change" as the most serious underlying driver of overall change in biodiversity. And it called for "an ecosystem-based approach to management" and highlighted the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity by making it integral to other policy fields, for example, in development, plans and operations.
"The assessment, which explores the potentially dramatic consequences of climate change and other factors that adversely affect species and their habitats in the Arctic, will provide critical information to policy makers on what is needed to secure the ecosystems and species that local communities rely on for their livelihoods." said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary for the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The ABA contains trends of Arctic biodiversity and offers policy recommendations for biodiversity conservation
It is complied by the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council.
Approximately 230 people, including ministers, delegates from the eight Arctic states, representatives of indigenous peoples, scientists and observers, participated Wednesday's Arctic Council meeting, which marks the end of the two-year Swedish chairmanship and the beginning of the Canadian chairmanship of the Arctic Council.