The spectacular Arctic encompasses more than 17 percent of the globe, harboring some of our planet’s least disturbed large marine ecosystems. Four million residents, including 30 different indigenous groups, call this region home. Life in the Arctic has been shaped for thousands of years by the ability to adapt to this land of perpetual ice and snow.
The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, fundamentally altering both human communities and natural systems. Retreating sea ice is not only restructuring Arctic ecosystems, it is also permitting new industrial access for commercial fishing, offshore energy and commercial shipping on a scale never seen before.
To protect life in the Arctic, we must build conservation solutions that address the rapidly changing Arctic environment. At the same time, we must work to lower carbon emissions that are the major cause of global warming.
Pew’s Oceans North campaign promotes science- and community-based conservation of the Arctic Ocean in the United States, Canada and between nations in the international Arctic.
Our program advocates scientifically sound policies consistent with indigenous land claims and traditional practices in the following areas:
- Sustainable commercial fishing.
- Environmentally responsible offshore hydrocarbon development and oil spill standards.
- Appropriate Arctic shipping safety rules.