Meeting the Challenges of Sustainable Development in the Arctic

Plenary Session: Organized by Guggenheim Partners and the WWF Global Arctic Programme / Natural Capital Project 17. August 2016

New investments in infrastructure, businesses and people are central to the development of the Arctic region. And indeed, investments in the Arctic are predicted to increase significantly in the decades to come.

To ensure that investments pave the way to a sustainable development helping the Arctic reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and ensure the protection of the Arctic’s unique ecosystems, there is a need for relevant and solid decision-making tools. This session introduces a new project concept between WWF, the Natural Capital Project and Guggenheim Partners to identify the ecological, economic, and cultural values of biodiversity and ecosystem services to people, institutions and governments in the Arctic, with the purpose of informing future decisions about stewardship, resource management and sustainable development.

The session will report on the first steps of this project, which include creating an inventory of spatial data and information that can be used to identify how people and all other life in the Arctic interact with and depend on the region’s diverse and functioning ecosystems and how these relationships might be affected by future development and climate change.