Enhancing Arctic Resilience in the Arctic Council A Strategy for 2015- 2017.
US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council
The Arctic region is experiencing some of the most rapid and profound ecologic and economic changes on the planet. While climate change is the most prominent driver of these changes, many other environmental, social and economic changes are rapidly occurring at the same time. In the face of all of these changes, it is critical to take actions that will reduce such impacts, and increase the resilience of communities and ecosystems in the Arctic. Resilience is the capacity of a socio-ecological system to cope with disturbance and recover in a way that maintains its core function and identity, while also adapting to changing conditions (Arctic Resilience Report, Interim Report, 2013). The Arctic is a diverse region with many different cultures, practices, and landscapes, so the qualities of successful resilience across the circumpolar Arctic are equally diverse. A holistic approach to resilience recognizes the close relationship between communities and ecosystems. While community-based approaches focus on empowering local communities to cope with change, ecosystem-based approaches focus on the management of ecosystems to maintain the goods and services they provide for communities and other beneficiaries. These two approaches are highly complementary, especially in the Arctic where communities and ecosystems are very closely intertwined.