Arctic Invasive Alien Species: Acting Now to Prevent the Worst

Organized by the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Groups of the Arctic Council 13. September 2016

Saturday, October 8, 17:15-18:45

Location: Skarðsheiði, Harpa Third Level

There are currently few invasive alien species in the Arctic, but more are expected with climate change and increased human activity. This represents a unique opportunity in the Arctic to decisively act now to reduce the threat before the problem becomes costly and resource intensive to address.


Under the Arctic Council, CAFF in partnership with PAME (on the marine component), has developed an Arctic Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan (ARIAS) (led by U.S.A. and Norway) to develop a strategy to prevent the introduction of invasive species in Arctic ecosystems.

 This effort is particularly urgent for the Arctic region. Rapid climate change is making the region more vulnerable to invasive species introductions, and at the same time a rapid surge in human activity, transit, and energy development in the region is increasing the chance of introduction of new and invasive species. There is an immediate opportunity—already largely lost in many other regions of the world—to proactively build resilience to the risks posed by invasive species to the Arctic’s unique social, economic, and environmental systems.


  • Gilbert Castellanos, International Affairs Specialist, US Fish and Wildlife Service: Introduction to the Invasive Species and Placement Within Arctic Council Work.
  • Jamie Reaser, Executive Director, National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Secretariat, US Department of the Interior: The Arctic Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plan: Why it is Needed Now.
  • Soffía Guðmundsdóttir, Executive Secretary, PAME: Efforts Underway to Develop and Implement Measures for Early Detection, Monitoring Eradication and Control in the Marine Environment.
  • Sigurrós Friðriksdóttir, Advisor, Icelandic Environment Agency: Challenges in Addressing Invasive Alien Species in the Marine Environment: A National Perspective.
  • Tero Vauraste, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arctia Ltd.; Co-Vice- Chair of the Arctic Economic Council: Three Industry Viewpoints on Invasive Species in the Arctic.


Tom Barry, Executive Secretary, CAFF