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Arctic Council Ecosystem Based Management Experts Group
"The co-chairs of the Arctic Council Expert Group on ecosystem-based management (EBM) for the Arctic environment are pleased to present, for consideration by the Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs), the Expert Group’s report on Arctic EBM. This report responds to the mandate from Ministers at Nuuk for the Expert Group to “recommend further activities in this field for possible consideration by the SAOs before the end of the Swedish chairmanship.” We hope that the SAOs will agree that the work of the Expert Group was extremely successful. In the course of three very substantive meetings in the United States, Sweden and Norway during 2011 and 2012, participants from Arctic Council Member States, the Permanent Participants and non-governmental organizations had valuable discussions about EBM in the Arctic and as a result produced the attached report, along with four annexes. For purposes of its work, the Expert Group used the following definition: EBM is the comprehensive, integrated management of human activities based on best available scientific and traditional knowledge about the ecosystem and its dynamics, in order to identify and take action on influences that are critical to the health of ecosystems, thereby achieving sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services and maintenance of ecosystem integrity. Using this definition, the report puts forward a series of recommendations that the Expert Group hopes can be considered by Ministers, including the adoption of an explicit policy commitment by the Council to EBM, along with nine principles related to EBM that the Council could apply in its work in the Arctic region. The Expert Group also makes a series of recommendations for activities that could, as appropriate, advance EBM in the Arctic. The recommendations are supported by annexes on definitions and principles for EBM in the Arctic; knowledge and process needs for EBM in the Arctic; advancing EBM in the work of the Arctic Council; and prior and ongoing EBM activities of the Arctic Council. We wish to thank the many participants in the working group for their valuable and constructive input to the work which made it possible to progress and come up with sets of recommendations on the matter in good time. We would also like to pay a special tribute to Mr. Joel Clement (USA), Mr. Alf Haakon Hoel (Norway), Ms. Elizabeth McLanahan (USA) and Ms. Rita Cerutti (Canada) for their intersessional work and invaluable support to the co-chairs for our task."