From the Arctic Protected Areas: Indicator Report

The extent of protected areas in the Arctic’s marine environment (Fig. 6) has almost quadrupled since 1980 (Fig. 7). In 2016, 4.7% of the Arctic marine area (860,000 km2) was protected, which, when considered at a pan-Arctic scale, falls short of the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 goal of 10% of coastal and marine areas to be protected by 2020 (Fig. 7). The marine protected areas are dominated by several very large areas and some parts of the Arctic marine ecosystem was poorly protected in 2016.

Figure 6: Marine protected areas in the Arctic classified according to their IUCN Management Category, 2016.

All but 8% of the 334 current marine protected areas found within the CAFF Boundary have been assigned
an IUCN Management Category. Protected areas falling in Category IV, Habitat/Species Management Areas,
cover the largest area overall. Figure 8 shows the percentage of protected areas in each IUCN Management
Category in 2016.

Figure 7: Trend in marine protected area coverage within the CAFF boundary, 1900-2016.

Figure 8: Distribution of marine protected areas across each of the six IUCN Management Categories, 2016.
group photoThe 6th EA Workshop on Ecosystem Approach Guidelines and Integrated Ecosystem Assessment, co-sponsored by the Joint Ecosystem Approach Expert Group (PAME, AMAP, CAFF, SDWG) and the ICES was held 9-11 january 2018 in Seattle, WA, USA.

Program, background documents and registration:
  • Workshop program here
  • Background document here
Workshop objectives:
1. Scope and start work on development of guidelines for Ecosystem Approach to management (EA) in the Arctic.
shutterstock 2035259112. Review status of work on developing and doing Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) to develop best practices for Arctic IEA.

Background: The Joint (PAME, AMAP, CAFF, SDWG) Ecosystem Approach expert group (EA-EG) has held 5 workshops in 2011-2015 on various aspects of development of EA to the management of Arctic marine ecosystems. A first International Conference on EA implementation in the Arctic was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in August 2016.

The Joint EA-EG prepared a report on ‘Status of Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach to Management in the Arctic’ (download here) that was delivered through PAME to Senior Arctic Officials and Ministers. In the Fairbanks Declaration from the Ministerial meeting in May 2016, the ministers reaffirmed the need for an ecosystem approach to management in the Arctic, and encouraged future efforts to develop practical guidelines for implementing an ecosystem approach. The Joint EA-EG has developed a framework with six elements for implementing the EA in the Arctic.

The first element is to identify (geographically) the ecosystem to be managed, and this has been done through delineation of the Arctic marine environment into 18 Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs-download here). Another key element of the framework is Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA), which is the step where the overall conditions and status of the ecosystem are assessed, including impacts (singular and cumulative) of human activities which take place or are planned in the given ecosystem.Carrying out an IEA is scientifically demanding, but is nevertheless essential for effective EA implementation.

The work at the 6th EA workshop will focus on two related subjects:
  • Development of EA guidelines, as requested by the Arctic Council ministers1, and
  • share and summarize information and experiences with integrated assessments of ecosystem status as a step toward developing best practices for Arctic IEA, for measuring trends and pressures for coastal and marine areas (which is a follow-up of EBM recommendation 3.5 from Kiruna in 2013).
The 6th EA workshop is co-sponsored by the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which has established regional working groups for doing IEAs, e.g. for the Barents Sea and Norwegian Sea LMEs, including one group jointly with PAME and PICES for the Central Arctic Ocean (WGICA). Within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the USA, there is a program for IEA which is also supporting the planning and conduct of the workshop. The planning group for the workshop will prepare a background document that will be circulated to participants prior to the workshop in January. The background document will provide more information and guidance for the work to be carried out at the workshop.

1 Fairbanks Declaration (2017), paragraph 32: Reaffirm the need for an ecosystem approach to management in the Arctic, welcome the Status of Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach to Management in the Arctic Report, and encourage future efforts to develop practical guidelines for implementing an ecosystem approach.


Session 1: Definitions, concepts and EA framework
Session 2: Guidelines for EA implementation in the Arctic (breakout groups)
  • No presentations
Session 3: Practical experience with IEA
Session 3A - ICES work and experiences in IEA
Session 3B – NOAA IEA program
  • IEA in Alaska (joint PDF)
    • Eastern Bering Sea (Kirstin Holsman)
    • Gulf of Alaska (Jamal Moss)
  • IEA in California Current (Chris Harvey)
  • Ecosystem Status Reports/ Ecosystem Considerations (Stephani Zador AFSC)
  • Traditonal Knowledge and Co-managment (TBC)
  • Local and Traditonal Knowledge (Harry Brower)
  • Non-market Valuation (Dan Lew, AFSC)
  • Human Dimensions (Steve Kasperski, AFSC)
  • Risk Assessment (Jameal Samhouri, NWFSC)

Session 3C – Experiences from IEA work in the Arctic Council and other jurisdictional frameworks 
mpa 3rd workshopThe Workshop on marine protected area (MPA) networks in a changing Arctic climate was held at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) on September 21-22, 2017.

The workshop was one in a MPA workshop series supporting PAME's work on studying best practices for linking area-based conservation measures to categories of Arctic marine biodiversity in support of the long-term conservation of the Arctic marine environment and associated services and cultural values. Key aspects of this collective work within the Arctic Council include ways to build and strengthen networks of MPAs in the context of climate change and ocean acidification, as well as incorporating traditional and local knowledge (TLK).

Click here to download the workshop report.

The aim of the workshop was to take stock of the current scientific understanding (including TLK) and identify important new research questions on MPA networks and how such networks, and other area-based measures, may be used to decrease the negative effects ofclimate change and ocean acidification and their interactions with other human induced stressors in the Arctic. The workshop also briefly touched on data availability related to these questions.

Outputs of the workshop will be published as:
  • meeting report that aims to contribute to the scientific basis for the potential of MPAs to meet the threats posed to Arctic ecosystems and livelihoods, and
  • a concise report card for targeted to decision makers and a wider audience.

 Name of presentation  Presenter   Download
SYKE - Finnish Environment Institute: Marine Research Center Paula Kankaanpää   Download
How Arctic Marine Protected Area Networks may reduce negative effects of climate change & ocean acidification Jessica Nilsson  Download
Arctic Climate Change Michael Tjernström   Download
Acidification of the Arctic Ocean, the basis for AMAP Arctic Ocean Acidification case studies Leif G. Anderson  Download
CBMP/ CAFF activities Update on work of relevance for PAME MPA work Tom Christensen  Download
Ten-step recipe for creating and managing effective marine protected areas Mark Carr  Download
Climate Change Report Cards - The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership Experience and Arctic Possibilities John Baxter and Dan Laffoley  Download
Protecting marine areas beneath Antarctic ice shelves: Special Areas for Scientific Study Susie Grant  Download
 The Journey towards a Weddell Sea Marine Protected Area Thomas Brey  Download
The Ross Sea Region MPA George M. Watters  Download
Networks, platforms and the winds of change: MPA's and climate change in the Baltic Sea (HELCOM) HELCOM  Download
Barents Sea MMBI Research Cruises Gennady Matishov  Download
Radioactive contamination issues in the Arctic Nadezhda Kasatkina  Download