Protected areas: Filling the gaps
Protected areas play an important role in meeting current global challenges by providing essential habitat refugia and carbon storage. In the Arctic, about one-fifth of all terrestrial and inland water areas are under protection. Less than 5 per cent of marine areas are protected, mostly covering coastal and continental shelf areas. This means there is little or no protection for many habitats and deep sea floor features of the Arctic Ocean. Expanding and adapting existing protected areas both on land and at sea, including accommodating for shifts in species distributions and retreating sea ice as a result of climate change, will be important to effectively protect species and ecosystems. International cooperation will be vital but so too will the involvement of Arctic peoples who are dependent on these ecosystems and know them best.
Produced by: GRID-Arendal