The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

yy Biodiversity receives considerable attention in Sweden’s strategy for the Arctic region , under the first policy priority – climate and the environment. Sweden pledges to work for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the Arctic.

protecting habitat, avoiding heavy depletion of populations, and trying to protect species from extinction are priorities.

yy The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) is also an intergovernmental treaty, the aim of which is to conserve terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range. CMS Parties strive to strictly protect animals that are threatened with extinction, conserve or restore the places where they live, mitigate obstacles to migration and control other factors that might endanger them. yy The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) , states the need to take measures to prevent the introduction of alien species that may cause significant and harmful changes to the local environment. 5.3.3 Role of Satellite Systems COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Impact Low) Satellite-based communications systems play a role in the monitoring of wildlife populations via animal tags. This applies equally to terrestrial (e.g., caribou) and marine species (e.g., whales). The use of GNSS in biodiversity applications in the Arctic is limited to the tracking of endangered wildlife species. Tagging and GNSS tracking of animals is a routine method for scientific research of biodiversity and is relevant in the Arctic, where the impacts of climate change on animal populations seems to be particularly severe. By tagging animals such as polar bears and reindeer with tiny GPS receivers and location transmitters, researchers can monitor their movements and study the impacts of the changes taking place in the Arctic on the health and life expectancies of individual animals to infer overall impacts on the species. There are two approaches to the use of EO for biodiversity studies (Turner, et al, 2003). The first involves the direct remote sensing of individual organisms, species, or ecological communities from satellites. This approach is now possible with the availability of high resolution EO data and new sources of hyperspectral EO data (i.e., data from across the electromagnetic spectrum that is divided into many bands beyond the visible spectrum), enabling the detection of spectral signatures that are characteristic of different plant species or communities. The second involves the indirect remote sensing of biodiversity through reliance on environmental parameters as proxies. This approach combines information about the known habitat requirements of species with land cover derived from satellite imagery to estimate potential species ranges and patterns of species richness. By monitoring the pace and distribution of habitat loss or conversion, biodiversity specialists can produce quantitative estimates of biodiversity losses. NAVIGATION SYSTEMS (Impact Medium) EARTH OBSERVATION SYSTEMS (Impact Medium)

yy Finland’s Strategy for the Arctic Region notes the need for preservation of fish stocks in northern rivers.

yy Biodiversity objectives of Russia’s Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic in the Period up to 2020 and Beyond include ensuring environmental preservation and biological diversity of Arctic flora and fauna, taking into account the potential of economic activity and global climate change. Ways of achieving these aims include introducing new wildlife management regimes, improving monitoring of pollution, and restoring natural environments. yy The Canadian Arctic Foreign Policy identifies enhancing its efforts, including pursuing and strengthening international standards, related to biodiversity and genetic resources as a policy objective. and Conservation of Natural Resources actions under the US National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD – 66 concerning an Arctic Region Policy include identifying “ways to conserve, protect, and sustainably manage Arctic species”, and pursuing “marine ecosystem-based management in the Arctic” (Heininen, 2011). yy While not an Arctic nation, China’s interests in the region include: investment in international scientific collaboration; research in oceanography, biology, atmospheric science, and glaciology; and membership in the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). yy The Convention on Biological Diversity is aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and is the first agreement to address all aspects of biological diversity: species, ecosystems and genetic resources. yy The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) policy states that parties shall take the necessary measures to protect the maritime area against the adverse effects of human activities so as to conserve marine ecosystems and, when practicable, restore marine areas which have been adversely affected. yy The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area promotes conservation of natural habitats and biological diversity and the protection of ecological processes ensuring the sustainable use of the natural resources. yy The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments the aim of which is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. In the Arctic region, yy Implementation of Environmental Protection

While these approaches are mature, there have been limited applications in the Arctic. This may be primarily due to the


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