Since the AMSP was adopted in 2004, the Arctic marine environment has been subject to increasing pressures from climate change, economic activities and pollution. The Arctic Council is at the forefront of responses to these emerging issues through the development of in-depth reports and assessments, such as the State of the Arctic Environment Report, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA), the Arctic Oil and Gas Assessment (AOGA), and ongoing work such as the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA), Arctic Ocean Review (AOR) and the Recommended Practices for Arctic Oil Spill Prevention (RP3).
The working groups of the Arctic Council, AMAP, PAME, CAFF, EPPR and SDWG have indicated that most strategic actions of the AMSP have been completed or are progressing according to plan, to be concluded within this or the next work plan period.
The Implementation section in the AMSP states that "PAME, in collaboration with all Arctic Council subsidiary bodies, will lead a review of the Strategic Plan by 2010, or another date specified by the Council, to determine its adequacy in light of the results of ongoing assessments and national and regional reporting.”
Therefore, it was deemed timely to update and revise, as relevant, the AMSP (2004) to secure a healthy, productive, and resilient Arctic Ocean and coasts; and to ensure that the future strategic approach to management of the Arctic marine environment is coordinated between the working groups, is based on ecosystem - based approach, and that results are effectively implemented.
Revisions to the AMSP will provide the building blocks towards more coordinated and integrated approaches and supports policy decisions at the local, national, regional and international levels. It also responds to commitments by the global community to sustainable development and protection of marine biodiversity and the marine environment through the application of the ecosystem approach and integrated coastal and ocean management.
The overall goals of AMSP:
- That the Arctic marine environment to be managed using an integrated, ecosystem approach to management.
- That the cumulative environmental effects do not exceed a level at which structure, functioning and productivity of ecosystems and biodiversity are maintained.
- An Arctic Council product and a platform for common efforts in the years to come - Coordination and engagement from working groups essential to create our strategic actions for the next decade.