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Arctic Wetlands in a Time of Change

Last week in Ilulissat, Greenland, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council provided an Arctic perspective to the Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet) conference, a regional initiative under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, to discuss northern wetlands and climate change.

"The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment found that climate change was one of the greatest threats to our nature and the report is an important part of our knowledge building about climate change impacts on our nature. It is important for us all to stand as one and contribute to this work, for only in this way can we safeguard a healthy nature for posterity as well."

Miiti Lynge, Minister for Housing, Nature and the Environment, Greenland, speaking at the NorBalWet conference

The recent Arctic Biodiversity Assessment has identified climate change as the most prominent environmental driver affecting freshwater ecosystems, their ability to function and their related biodiversity. Click here to read more about the Freshwater Ecosystems chapter of the ABA.

The conference, entitled “Nordic wetlands in a time of climate change, mitigation, resilience and adaptation” identified impacts of climate change on wetlands, explored their function in regulating climate, and sought opportunities for solutions. Participants discussed how NorBalWet stakeholders may address relevant Ramsar resolutions regarding wetlands, climate change, and Ramsar sites. The conversation also included recommendations for improving collaboration and information exchange in the Nordic-Baltic region.

In July 2012 CAFF signed a Resolution of Cooperation with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention. As part of this cooperation, CAFF was invited to share its circumpolar knowledge and experience during the workshop and explore possibilities for professional collaboration between CAFF and NorBalWet.