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Sustainable management and resilience of Arctic wetlands – scoping study

Wetlands have often been thought of as wastelands – a widespread misunderstanding that has led to wetlands often being drained, landfilled, even paved over, depriving both people and nature of wetlands’ many critically important ecosystems functions and benefits. This report from the first phase of an Arctic Council project inventories Arctic wetlands and reviews the current state of knowledge on these unique environments.

Magnus Land, Marcus Carson / Published on 22 March 2019

Land, M. and Carson, M. (2019). Sustainable Management and Resilience of Arctic Wetlands. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna International Secretariat, Akureyri, Iceland.

Vista over wetlands in the Arctic at dusk

The benefits of wetlands to people and the environment are often overlooked. Photo Credit: Lisa Hupp/USFWS via Flickr

The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council ( is working to toward better engagement at several levels (e.g. technical, policy) on the roles and functions of Arctic wetlands as a resource to support sustainable development and resilience in the circumpolar Arctic.

This publication reports on the first phase of the project, which examined wetlands inventories across the Arctic. Inventories provide important information for management and policy-making and serve as a baseline for future policies. Phase one also reviewed scientific research on Arctic wetlands to understand their importance for biodiversity and hydrology, and to understand how climate change will affect wetlands and their capacity for carbon storage.

The study includes a preliminary mapping of ways in which wetlands are central to indigenous livelihoods. Incorporating local and indigenous knowledge is essential in the management of wetlands. Knowledge gaps and needs were also identified.

SEI authors

Marcus Carson
Marcus Carson

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Topics and subtopics
Land : Ecosystems, Land use
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