“How to cope with an Arctic ecosystem under multiple pressures” was the question sought answered during the COPE project’s side event at Arctic Frontiers 2022.
Three speakers opened the event by sharing their insight. The first was professor and chief scientist John Walsh from University of Alaska Fairbanks, this year’s winner of The International Mohn Prize for Outstanding Research Related to the Arctic. His introductory speech was titled “Arctic ecosystems: A nexus of multiple stressors”, while professor Katrin Vorkamp from Aarhus University focused on how climate change affects contamination of the Arctic. Senior scientist Trude Borch from Akvaplan-niva was the third and last speaker. She based her speech on a NIVA led study on handling multi-stress (Persistent organic pollutants and climate change) under the Stockholm Convention.
The speakers were then joined by senior advisor Timo Seppälä from the Finnish Environment Institute and miljødirektør Lisa Bjørnsdatter Helgason from the County Governor of Troms and Finnmark in a panel discussion moderated by research director Eldbjørg S. Heimstad from NILU.
All the panelists shared knowledge-based and insightful opinions on challenges and opportunities to achieve a sustainable Arctic ecosystem, and cope with multiple pressures.
In the panel debate Borch stated: “No doubt, there is a greater opportunity for national governments to manage and regulate in a way that takes into consideration the added risk of multiple stress – simply because they are not dependent on a global consensus. In our study we found examples of national governments that has been inspired by the global discussions on multi-stress which had triggered activity on the national level.”
The COPE project would like to thank all our speakers and panelists for sharing their knowledge and experience. Thanks also to the audience that joined us – we hope to share more information and research results soon.