Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010


Ecosystem services

Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010

Population/ecosystem status and trends 1

The first protected areas dataset for the Arctic was created by CAFF in 1994 and was last updated in 2004 [1] 2 . The data presented in this chapter represent the first results of the 2009 update, and were officially submitted by each of the Arctic Council countries. The first protected areas in the Arctic were established in Sweden and Alaska at the beginning of the 20th century. The area under protection remained low until the 1970s when it began to increase significantly with additions of large areas such as the Greenland National Park (Figure 21.1). By 1980, 5.6% of the Arctic was classified under some degree of protection. This has steadily increased until today where 11% of the Arctic 3 , about 3.5 million km 2 , has protected status in 1127 protected areas (Figure 21.2).

Of course, the nature of protection and governance of these areas varies throughout the circumpolar region, and there are varying levels of protection within countries. In addition, over 40% of Arctic protected areas have a coastal component but for the majority of these areas it is not possible at present to determine the extent to which they incorporate the adjacent marine environment. 1. Note on information sources: Data used to compile the information for this analysis came from each of the representatives of the Arctic Council countries to CAFF. 2. Subsequent to this, UNEP’s World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) has stored data on Arctic protected areas, although the Arctic data is of variable quality. 3. The Arctic, as defined by the CAFF boundary, covers an area of over 32 million km 2 .

Protected areas, IUCN Class V-VII Protected areas, IUCN Class I-IV CAFF area

Figure 21.1: Protected Areas in the Arctic classed after their IUCN category [2].

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