As the Arctic continues to experience a period of intense and accelerating change it has become increasingly important to have better information on the status and trends of the Arctic environment.

Historically, monitoring practices in the Arctic have been largely fragmented and incomplete.

To address this shortcoming, the Arctic Council has increased long-term monitoring efforts and inventories to address key gaps in Arctic knowledge. These continuous efforts allow Arctic states to better facilitate the development and implementation of conservation and management strategies.

The 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) recommended that long term Arctic biodiversity monitoring be expanded and enhanced.

In response, two of the Council's working groups — the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) examined the report's findings and developed follow-up programs that address key projections for the future of the Arctic.

Featured projects

Photo: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP)

An international network of scientists, governments, Indigenous organizations and conservation groups working to harmonize and integrate efforts to monitor the Arctic's living resources.

Marine Biodiversity Monitoring

Working with partners across the Arctic to harmonize and enhance long-term marine monitoring efforts
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The Arctic Wildland Fire Ecology Mapping and Monitoring Project (ArcticFIRE)

Improving our understanding of Arctic fires and reducing the threat

Circumpolar Local Environmental Observer Network (CLEO)

Our world is changing rapidly, and local observers can detect subtle changes in weather, landscapes and seascapes, and in plant and animal communities.

Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)

SAON's vision is a connected, collaborative, and comprehensive long-term pan-Arctic Observing System that serves societal needs.
Plastic litter on an Arctic coast. Photo: iStock/sodar99

Arctic Marine Microplastics and Litter

Development of a monitoring plan for microplastics and litter in Arctic waters.
Murres on cliff. Photo: iStock

Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring

Working with partners across the Arctic to harmonize and enhance long-term coastal monitoring efforts.
Water sampling in the Arctic. Photo: Steve Hillebrand/CAFF

Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring

Working with partners across the Arctic to harmonize and enhance long-term freshwater monitoring efforts.
Photo: CAFF

Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring

Working with partners across the Arctic to harmonize and enhance long-term terrestrial monitoring efforts.
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Circumpolar Wildland Fire

Circumpolar Coordination on Wildfire Prevention, Preparedness and Response
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Arctic Shipping Status Reports

Using the ASTD System to develop a user-friendly, illustrative informational factsheets online to highlight important developments in Arctic shipping activities.

Arctic monitoring news

iStock / Koldunov

Snapshot of an ever-changing Arctic: The state of Arctic terrestrial biodiversity

Climate change is driving significant changes that could lead to ecological catastrophes in the Arctic
10 May 2021
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Mercury from outside the Arctic is polluting the region

A look at current trends, concerns and future action
10 May 2021
iStock / Jean Landry

Navigating the future of Arctic shipping

What an increase in Arctic shipping means for the region
10 May 2021
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