As the Arctic continues to experience a period of intense and accelerating change it has become increasingly important to have better information on the status and trends of the Arctic environment.

Historically, monitoring practices in the Arctic have been largely fragmented and incomplete.

To address this shortcoming, the Arctic Council has increased long-term monitoring efforts and inventories to address key gaps in Arctic knowledge. These continuous efforts allow Arctic states to better facilitate the development and implementation of conservation and management strategies.

The 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) recommended that long term Arctic biodiversity monitoring be expanded and enhanced.

In response, two of the Council's working groups — the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) examined the report's findings and developed follow-up programs that address key projections for the future of the Arctic.

Featured projects

Photo: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS
Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP)
The CBMP is an international network of scientists, governments, Indigenous organizations and conservation groups working to harmonize and integrate efforts to monitor the Arctic's living resourc...
Project pageOverview
Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)
SAON's vision is a connected, collaborative, and comprehensive long-term pan-Arctic Observing System that serves societal needs. SAON's mission is to facilitate, coordinate, and advocate for...
Project pageOverview
Plastic litter on an Arctic coast. Photo: iStock/sodar99
Arctic Marine Microplastics and Litter
AMAP is developing a monitoring plan for microplastics and litter in Arctic waters.
Overview
Murres on cliff. Photo: iStock
Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring
Arctic coastal ecosystems include those areas within the Arctic region where fjords, glaciers, rocky coasts, coastal wetlands, estuaries, rivers, lakes, and coastal ocean ecosystems meet and interact ...
Project pageOverview
Marine Biodiversity Monitoring
Arctic marine environments are experiencing, or expected to experience, many human-induced and natural pressures.
Project pageOverview
Water sampling in the Arctic. Photo: Steve Hillebrand/CAFF
Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring
Changes in water temperature, permafrost, ice cover extent and duration, hydrological processes and water balance can have unexpected and unpredictable effects on freshwater biodiversity and related e...
Project pageOverview
Photo: CAFF
Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring
Temperature can affect terrestrial ecosystems through thawing permafrost, snowmelt, drought, fires, changes in phenology (with subsequent implications on the food web), encroachment of invasive specie...
Project pageOverview

CAFF monitoring publications

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AMAP monitoring and assessment publications

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For the Arctic, from home: Arctic cooperation amidst the Coronavirus pandemic

Editorial by Einar Gunnarsson, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials
26 Mar 2020
Lavvuu in Kautokeino, Norway

Coronavirus in the Arctic: We have no one to lose

Interview with Christina Henriksen, the President of the Saami Council
25 Mar 2020

Coronavirus in the Arctic: It is imperative to keep the virus out

An interview with epidemiologist Dr. Anders Koch
24 Mar 2020
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