The Arctic Council and Biodiversity

In Svein Vigeland Rottem and Ida Folkestad Soltvedt (eds), Arctic Governance: Law and Politics. Volume 1. London, I.B. Tauris, 2017, pp. 205-230.

Arctic biodiversity is of global concern, and biodiversity is one of the focal areas of cooperation under the Arctic Council, addressed mainly under its working group on the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF). As the Arctic constitutes several ecosystems transcending borders, threats to these ecosystems must be dealt with by all the states sharing them, through cross-border responses. The chapter discusses the extent to which  the Arctic Council provide the institutional, policy and regulatory means necessary to meet this challenge.  Scientific monitoring and assessments of Arctic biodiversity is essential and is of high quality.  However, cooperation mechanisms to translate scientific findings into joint and unified action by the Arctic states are not in place. Decision-making power and instruments are needed, whether in the form of hard or soft law. Recent development of instruments in other thematic areas addressed by the Arctic Council could serve as inspiration.



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