The future of Governance and handling Vulnerability in Arctic Ecosystems


  • 13:00 The "Melting Snowball Effect": How the warming climate has cascading effects on ecosystem services and international governance regimes for Svalbard. New future narratives from the project
    Authors: Dorothy Dankel ( Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen ); Rachel Tiller ( SINTEF Ocean ); Yajie Liu ( University of Tromsø ); Elizabeth Nyman ( Texas A&M University at Galveston ); Vicky Lam ( University of British Columbia )

    A new era of climate change is currently affecting ecosystem services in the Arctic. In this presentation of results from the project, our interdisciplinary team presents the “Melting Snowball Effect”, a term coined to represent the current situation of a warming Arctic climate and the effects that “snowball” to produce a cascade of effects. For example, the influx of snow crab in the Svalbard Protection Zone is attributed to the warming climate, as well as recent deadly avalanches in Longyearbyen and increased shipping and tourism in new, ice-free waters. These climate effect then “snowball”, or lead to, other issues, for example: the expansion of emergency preparedness systems, deep-water cruise ship ports and fisheries landing sites near Longyearbyen.

    The Arctic of tomorrow belongs to the youngest generations of today. It is therefore one of the goals of the project that young people are aware of and able to engage in discussions of future Arctic governance. How will our current national and international institutions be able to meet the many dimensions of Arctic sustainability? The REGIMES project has an interdisciplinary team that has looked top-down (international regimes theory) and bottom-up (generational preparedness) environmental/ecological, economic, social/cultural, and corresponding institutional aspects One of the goals of our work is to provide our governance systems with plausible, interdisciplinary scenarios and narratives of the future to make both current decision-makers and young generations prepared for the Arctic of tomorrow.

    We use multiple methods to shed light on these narratives, i.e. ecosystem model predictions, in-depth Arctic citizen interviews and international relations and political science theory applied to our case study of Svalbard will provide a better understanding of provision and values of multiple ES and potential trade-offs in marine resource uses and management decisions in the Arctic ecosystem.

  • 13:15 The Norwegian Coastal Administration's Approach to the Future Governance and Handling of Environmental Risk
    Authors: Øyvind Rinaldo ( Kystverket/The Norwegian Coastal Administration ); Rune Bergstrøm ( Kystverket/The Norwegian Coastal Administration ); Vivian Jakobsen ( Kystverket/The Norwegian Coastal Administration )

    The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) is responsible for managing the preparedness against acute pollution in Norway – both on land and at sea. This talk will focus on the responsibilities related to acute pollution from shipping.

    The Norwegian Parliament expects The Norwegian Coastal Administration to make sure the overall preparedness against acute pollution is tuned according to the environmental risk, at any time. This is a substantial challenge. To know the risk of acute pollution related to shipping, environmental vulnerability, and to manage preparedness against acute pollution on a suitable level of detail across seasons and geography is beyond the capabilities of the human mind. We need to utilize computers to take into consideration all the necessary combinations of traffic, weather, environmental vulnerability and risk. NCA has realized that the approach to assessing the environmental risk had to be replaced by a dynamic and holistic system based on a more detailed knowledge of the risk for shipping accidents and the environmental vulnerability. With more digital data and more computerized processing power we can go digital on most of the process towards the best-tuned preparedness against acute pollution.

    This talk will guide you through how NCA is approaching the Future Governance and Handling of Environmental Risk.

    The main topics:

    • The need for digital and automated processes.
      • Accurate and quality-controlled data.
      • Risk calculations to run without human interaction.
    • What are the effects on the organization when we go digital?
      • New working processes.
      • New competence.
      • More time for the employees to use their competence on how to safeguard the environment.
      • More cooperation inside and outside the organization.
    • How does a digital process affect other governmental agencies?
      • Better and more efficient quality control.
      • Automated data delivery and open systems.
      • New ways of cooperation.
      • Sharing of data, data tools and results will be the way we work.
    • How can a digital process affect the way research is documented and converted for use in governance?
      • Focus will still be on research, collecting data, performing analysis and gain new scientific knowledge.
      • Recording and storing data according to national and international standards and guidelines
      • Governance will be a customer to many research results on environment, ecosystems and other topics.
      • New data and tools will be made available to science and others.
    • What we can gain from this new approach.
      • A more efficient governance.
      • Better planning tools.
      • A governance more open to other governmental agencies, NGOs and the public.

    A poster presentation and a paper will accompany the talk on the subject.

  • 13:30 Scenarios as a tool for the improvement of stakeholders' capacity for adapting effectively to multiple changes in the Arctic: The case of the Yamal region
    Authors: Vilena Valeeva ( IASS Potsdam ); Kathrin Stephen ( IASS Potsdam ); Johannes Gabriel ( Foresight Intelligence ); Elena Nikitina ( IMEMO )

    Climate and environmental changes threaten Arctic communities and infrastructure as well as flora and fauna. However, they are not the only drivers of transformations in the North. Interaction of climatic, environmental, economic, social, political, and legal changes render the future of the Arctic region highly uncertain. To respond to this complexity, the “Yamal 2040” case study within the Blue-Action project has brought scientists and stakeholders together to develop a number of scenarios for the future of the Yamal region in the Russia Arctic. The main aim of this effort is to help stakeholders to deal with the multiple uncertainties they face in times of rapid global and regional change processes and to increase their capacity to adapt to different future developments in Yamal.

    The scenarios were constructed in a series of workshops where representatives of different Yamal stakeholder groups including environmental and indigenous NGOs, local communities, business, media, and scientists took part. Stakeholders were not only involved in the development of the scenarios; they also learned how to use the scenarios for their specific purposes. This was done by deriving policy options for different stakeholder groups with respect to each scenario.

    The Yamal scenarios were constructed using the Strategic Foresight method which is used worldwide by policymakers, business, and analysts who want to convert uncertainties into opportunities. The case study showed that Strategic Foresight can be an effective tool for conducting transdisciplinary research, integrating different knowledge sources, and for engaging various stakeholder groups in a scientific project. However, the method is also afflicted with noteworthy risks and limitations. This paper will outline the opportunities, risks, limitations, and lessons learned of the Yamal 2040 case study to provide reflection on the method for future use in other projects, Arctic or otherwise.

    The “Yamal 2040” case study is part of the international research project “Blue-Action” that is funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727852. The case study is conducted by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany, in cooperation with the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Science (IMEMO) in Moscow, Russia, and Foresight Intelligence in Berlin, Germany.

  • 13:45 From conservation priority areas to marine spatial planning in the Pechora Sea
    Authors: Boris Solovyev ( A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of Russian Academy of Sciences ); Vassily Spiridonov ( P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Sciences ); Irina Onufrenya ( WWF Russia ); Natalia Chernova ( Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences ); Maria Gavrilo ( Association Maritime Heritage: Explore & sustain ); Nikita Platonov ( A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of Russian Academy of Sciences ); Anna Gebruk ( Marine Research Centre of Lomonosov Moscow State University ); Maria Solovyeva ( A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of Russian Academy of Sciences ); Peter Glazov ( Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences ); Dmitry Glazov ( A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of Russian Academy of Sciences ); Nikolai Shabalin ( Marine Research Centre of Lomonosov Moscow State University ); Victor Ivshin ( Knipovich Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography )

    Pechora Sea is the southeastern part of the Barents Sea, known for (still) an extensive and long-lasting sea ice cover, and a specific oceanographical regime. It was recognized as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area, according to the criteria adopted by the Convention on Biodiversity. On the other hand, this is the first region in the Eurasian Arctic where offshore oil production has recently been started (Prirazlomnaya field), and where a number of new areas have been leased for hydrocarbon exploration. It is characterized by intensive ship traffic. Although this sea now supports only limited coastal fishery, it may face an alien snow crab fishery in the future. We have used MARXAN as a decision support tool for conservation planning to develop a coherent network of conservation priority areas which can be further used for marine spatial planning in the region and as a model for other regions. 70 conservation features were considered, grouped into several categories: plankton and productivity, benthic communities, fishes, sea birds and marine mammals. Several MARXAN experiments resulted in a rather conservative network of 13 areas, well representing the main subregions based on oceanography, and providing geographic and food web connectivity. A new methodology of threat assessment has been applied that made it possible to formulate recommendations for spatial management of the economic activities and monitoring of their impact in the Pechora Sea. The study was supported by WWF.

  • 14:00 It Takes a Village: Lessons in Cooperative Governance and Indigenous Practices in Oceania's Marine Ecosystems
    Authors: Diane Yoder ( University of Southern California ); Diane Yoder ( University of Southern California )

    The Inuit believe that one can only know who is an enemy or foe when the ice melts. Currently, the ice is melting faster than many models predicted. More than 1.1 million square kilometers of sea ice was lost in 2015 and multi-year sea ice has decreased by one-fifth in recent decades. This rapid melting threatens the Arctic’s indigenous peoples, along with their subsistence lifestyle and culture. Conversely, the changing icescape means the potential economic boon for the Arctic’s littoral nations, along with Finland, Iceland, and Sweden, as previously inaccessible natural resources and sea routes are revealed. Non-Arctic nations (e.g., China, Korea, Japan) are clamoring for a stake in newly opened shipping lanes, natural resource extraction, and growing tourism. Meanwhile, the Arctic’s indigenous populations are faced with sea-access contests, increasing contaminants and marine plastic litter, coastal erosion, and decreased subsistence hunting, as well as diminished autonomy. The Arctic’s indigenous peoples are dependent on their marine ecosystems, the same ecosystems that strain under the effects of the rapidly diminishing sea ice. Changes in Arctic marine mammals, fish, and planktonic and benthic systems are coupled with the northward spread of sub-Arctic species into the Arctic marine ecosystem.

    Throughout history, the Arctic’s indigenous populations have depended on collaboration and cooperation. They still do as they face threats from globalization, climate change, and Arctic and non-Arctic nations. Such collaborative arrangements are required in promoting both economic development and sustainability in the rapidly changing Arctic marine ecosystems. While many strategies involve relying on nation-states or the Arctic Council to guide cooperative arrangements, I argue that the Arctic’s indigenous peoples could model collaborative agreements on indigenous, community-led cooperation found in Oceania. Arrangements like International Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) are one example of how community-led, de facto cooperative agreements—rather than state-run, de jure agreements—have been successful in managing marine ecosystems in the southern latitudes.

    In this paper, I examine the best practices of myriad collaborative arrangements for marine ecosystem management in Oceania and show how similar practices might be useful governance mechanisms for the Arctic marine ecosystem. Through case study and best practice research, I identify key actors and their governance mechanisms—including traditional knowledge and management practices—and recommend innovative ways that the Arctic’s indigenous communities can build resilience, adapt to the changing marine ecosystem, and maintain their autonomy and culture.

Science Science

Wednesday 23rd January 2019

13:00 - 14:30

Clarion Hotel The Edge - Importkompaniet

Add to Calendar 2019-01-23 13:00 2019-01-23 14:30 Europe/Oslo The future of Governance and handling Vulnerability in Arctic Ecosystems Clarion Hotel The Edge - Importkompaniet

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