Arctic Council Working Groups ACAP, AMAP, CAFF and PAME all met during the week of 13-18 September 2015 in Tromsø, Norway. To mark the historic occasion, we’ve been highlighting a series of projects from their portfolios. This piece addresses the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program's Land Cover Change Index.


The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) is developing a suite of indicators to provide a better understanding of how Arctic biodiversity is changing—from species to habitats to ecosystem processes, functions and services. A quick update on one such indicator is provided below.

The Land Cover Change Index

In partnership with Michigan Tech Research Institute, the CBMP is creating a framework to harness the potential of remote sensing technology for use in Arctic biodiversity monitoring and assessment activities. To date, the project has produced a series of satellite-based remote sensing products focusing on the circumpolar Arctic. The products are in use by the Arctic Council’s Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure’s GeoPortal and are accessible on CAFF’s Arctic Biodiversity Data Service (ABDS).

“This project is important because it is using new technologies in an Arctic-friendly format, allowing scientists to see how things such as land and sea temperature, or marine primary productivity have changed since the 1970s,” says Reidar Hindrum, CAFF’s Norwegian Chair, “These technologies bulk up our scientific repertoire and increase our ability to report on change. It is really powerful stuff,” says Hindrum.

Learn more about the Land Cover Change Index and its available data products here: