Arctic village.
Arctic village. Photo credit: SEI/Annika E. Nilsson

The Arctic region is changing rapidly and in so many ways that we can expect dramatic alterations to people’s lives and to ecosystems in the region. Climate change is a major concern, but other environmental changes are occurring at the same time, along with rapid economic development and social transformation. While some changes may be gradual, the interactions among different driving forces may together have large impacts on Arctic peoples and economies, and on global ecosystem services. Such large shifts can be difficult to predict. They may also be irreversible. Understanding potential thresholds and society’s capacity to adapt and transform is crucial for preparing effectively for an uncertain future.

The Arctic Resilience Report is a science-based assessment of the integrated impacts of change in the Arctic. The goal is to:

  • Identify the potential for shocks and large shifts in ecosystem services that affect human well-being in the Arctic
  • Analyse how different drivers of change interact in ways that affect the ability of ecosystems and human populations to withstand shocks, adapt or transform
  • Evaluate strategies for governments and communities to adapt

The Arctic Resilience Report was approved as an Arctic Council project in November 2011, following a scoping workshop held in Stockholm in September. The project is led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. It builds on collaboration with other Arctic countries and indigenous peoples in the region, as well as several Arctic scientific organisations. The project is governed by a Project Steering Committee with representation from Arctic Council Working Groups, Member States and Permanent Participants, along with representatives of collaborating organizations. Responsibility for developing the scientific content of the project rests with an Assessment Integration Team.

As of March 2013, funding has been provided by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Ministry of the Environment, Formas and the Nordic Council of Ministers.