Draft Report: Work on the Ecosystem Approach within the Arctic Council- Submitted to Whitehorse SAO meeting. March 2015.
Arctic Council Secretariat (ACS)
In order to advance the ecosystem approach in the context of the Arctic Council, the Arctic Council Ministers established an expert group on ecosystem-based management (EBM) for the Arctic environment during their 2011 Ministerial meeting. This group operated during the 2011-2013 period and was charged with building a common understanding of the ecosystem approach across Arctic Council Member States, Permanent Participants (PPs), Observers, and Working Groups. The EBM expert group delivered their findings to the Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) in 2013, which included a definition for EBM, a set of EBM principles, and 12 recommendations for specific activities that could be undertaken by the Arctic Council Member States, PPs, and Arctic Council Working Groups, as appropriate, to advance the ecosystem approach in the Arctic. In the Kiruna Declaration of 2013, ministers of the Arctic Council States “Welcome[d] the report on Ecosystem Based Management, approve[d] the definition, principles and recommendations, encourage[d] Arctic States to implement recommendations both within and across boundaries, and ensure[d] coordination of approaches in the work of the Arctic Council’s Working Groups.” Following upon that directive, at the Whitehorse SAO meeting in fall of 2013, the Senior Arctic Official from the United States “asked that the Working Groups affected by the recommendations of the EBM Expert Group [Note: includes AMAP, CAFF, PAME and SDWG] report regularly on their efforts ... [and] that a summary report detailing work towards the EBM recommendations from all Working Groups be prepared for the 2015 ministerial meeting.” SAOs tasked the ACS to “follow up with the Working Groups to ensure that a joint report on the Arctic Council’s follow up of the EBM recommendations” is prepared as desired. Accordingly, the Working Groups named above – AMAP, CAFF, PAME and SDWG – have all submitted concise responses detailing their efforts in support of each of the recommendations contained in the report “Ecosystem-Based Management in the Arctic”. The responses below have been collated and summarized in the report that follows.