Ecosystem approach in the Arctic: essence and problems

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The Arctic is a complex geographical area to govern sustainably due to strong geopolitical and socio-economic interests, high ecological vulnerability and importance, and significant legal and institutional fragmentation. Intensifying human pressures in this area necessitate an ecosystem-based and adaptive governance approach, an approach that enables managing socio-ecological resilience in the Arctic. As the Arctic is a large geographic area crossing multiple national jurisdictions and maritime zones, including high seas areas, regionally coordinated and coherent governance approaches would be desirable. The purpose of this article is to examine the issue of ecosystem management in the Arctic in light of the potential implications of the ongoing negotiations on a new global treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction for the management of Arctic ecosystems. The new approach to managing the Arctic is not straightforward, given that much of the Arctic is located in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The article explores the problems and options for formulating an effective ecosystem approach to the conservation of Arctic biodiversity against the backdrop of diverging negotiating positions on the role of the global compact in filling gaps in governance and regulation; on the role of regional and sectoral bodies in the implementation of global rules; and in reviewing the work done in the context of the Arctic Council on the ecosystem approach. The ecosystem approach formulated by the Arctic Council is analyzed and some of the problems associated with its implementation are outlined and various options for solving such problems are considered.


Arctic, ecosystem approach, environment, global issues, arctic council

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IDR: 143172798

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