Developing an Integrated and Sustained Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring Network. CBMP Five-Year Implementation Plan.
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The Arctic plays host to a globally significant array of biodiversity and the size and nature of Arctic ecosystems make them of critical importance to the biological, chemical and physical balance of the globe. Dramatic changes (e.g., climate change) now underway are threatening the resiliency and sustainability of the Arctic’s biodiversity and the overall balance of its ecosystems. Continued rapid change in the Arctic will have global repercussions affecting the planet’s biodiversity as a whole. Current Arctic biodiversity monitoring efforts are insufficient to provide an integrated picture of the status of and trends in key species, habitats, processes, and services. Better coordination of our existing monitoring networks is urgently needed in order to improve our ability to detect important trends on a timely basis, attribute these trends to their underlying causes, and provide this information to decision makers to facilitate effective and timely responses. In response to the global importance of the Arctic and its biodiversity, the increasing pressures on Arctic biodiversity and human communities, and our limited capacity to monitor and understand these changes, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) recommended that long-term Arctic biodiversity monitoring be expanded and enhanced. In its acceptance of ACIA’s recommendations, the Arctic Council directed the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group to further examine those findings related to biodiversity conservation and develop follow-up programmes and activities to address key projections for the future of the Arctic. A primary response has been the implementation of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). The CBMP is a mechanism for harmonizing and enhancing long-term biodiversity monitoring efforts across the Arctic in order to improve our ability to detect and report on significant trends and pressures. The resulting information will be used to assist policy and decision making at the global, national, regional and local levels.