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Resilience and management of Arctic wetlands: phase 2 report

Arctic wetlands play a number of crucial environmental roles, but they continue to be degraded and lost, with potentially dire global consequences. This report offers insights and identifies knowledge gaps, with the aim of supporting sustainable development and resilience in these areas.

Marcus Carson, Nelson Ekane / Published on 21 May 2021
Download  Read the report / PDF / 3 MB

CAFF (2021). Scoping for Resilience and Management of Arctic Wetlands: Resilience & management of Arctic wetlands: Phase 2 Report. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna International Secretariat: Akureyri, Iceland. ISBN 978-9935-431-99-8

Arctic wetlands store an enormous amount of global carbon, offer crucial support for global biodiversity, and provide important ecosystem services for Indigenous and other communities. They also constitute considerable parts of the Earths remaining wilderness areas. Yet with rapidly warming temperatures and a dynamic human footprint these ecosystems are changing fundamentally, bringing both Arctic peoples and ecosystems closer to potential tipping points.

Much remains to be learned about Arctic wetlands, yet quite a lot is known about their structure, processes and functions. Despite the availability of an extensive body of information and research, wetlands in the Arctic and elsewhere continue to be degraded and lost more rapidly than forests. These losses carry potentially dire consequences for benefits to people, including loss of direct water-based ecosystem services, continued decline of biodiversity, and positive climate feedbacks through carbon emissions caused by wetlands drying and degradation, especially peatlands.

The report provides 13 key findings and a suite of 20 policy recommendations designed to maintain and strengthen the resilience of wetlands, all aimed at policymakers attending the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting.

Researchers from Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), Stockholm University and CAFF, the Arctic Council’s biodiversity working group, led the work on the report and recommendations, published by the Arctic Council and CAFF.

The report was produced within the Resilience and Management of Arctic Wetlands initiative 2017-2021. Many of the findings and recommendations are highly relevant both within and outside the Arctic, and Arctic States have an unusually important opportunity to act as role models for the sustainable use of wetlands.

A document summarizing the report’s key findings and recommendations is also available.


Read the report / PDF / 3 MB

SEI authors

Marcus Carson
Marcus Carson

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Nelson Ekane
Nelson Ekane

Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

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