The program for the regional Arctic Ocean Decade Workshop is under preparation. However, the preliminaryt workshop structure is in place as well as the initial focus points for the 6 thematic working groups.

Preliminary workshop structure 


Workshop structure

Focus points for the six thematic work groups (WG) wtih respect to the Arctic

WG 1: A Clean Ocaen

  • Specifying the research needed to better assess the human and environmental risks of current and future Arctic marine pollution.
  • Inspiring the innovation of new approaches to reduce marine pollution in the Arctic; e.g. sulphur cap on emissions from ship fuel.

Points to consider:

  • Pollution topics currently include greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication, invasive species, harmful substances and plastics; but more can be identified as relevant for the Arctic.
  • Arctic pollution should be categorised with respect to local (direct) and global (long range).

WG 2: A Healthy and Ressilient Ocean

  • Specifying the research required to understand the functioning, maintenance and value of ocean ecosystem services in the Arctic, deciphering effects of multiple stressors.
  • Supporting the development of marine spatial planning initiatives, marine protected areas and ecosystem-based management practices towards good Arctic ocean stewardship.
  • Proceeding with Integrated assessment of different Arctic basins to reveal what knowledge is missing.
  • Identifying the state, functioning and value of Arctic marine geosystems, including geodiversity and geoheritage in relation to designation of marine protected areas.

WG 3: A Predicted Ocean

  • Sustained, systematic and coordinated observation program for the Arctic providing the knowledge base towards understanding current status and change.
  • Providing the necessary data to fuel operational and climate modelling of the Arctic in support of management, ocean business, local communities and understanding connections to global climate change.
  • Recovering and studying sedimentary archives that record past ocean-climate-ecosystem changes and filling knowledge gaps on natural climate variability for improved model predictions.
  • Development of new and more environmentally sound observational technologies and strategies focused towards reducing costs, increasing coverage, and limiting permanent loss of equipment to the sea floor.

WG 4: A Safe Ocean

  • Research aimed at identifying, assessing and reducing the potential risk from natural and man-induced Arctic hazards.
  • Development of integrated multi-hazard warning systems for enhanced preparedness and awareness of local society and operators, potentially with new technologies and private-public partnerships.
  • Development of community resilience and adaptive capacity through integration of indigenous and scientific knowledge.
  • Identifying oceanic and geo-marine hazards that pose major societal risks: either directly, e.g. global sea-level rise, slope stability and tsunamis, coastal erosion, harmful algal blooms, or indirectly, such as ocean acidification and release of methane hydrate contributing to greenhouse warming.

Points to consider:

  • Ocean hazards include among them sea level rise, coastal erosion, harmful algal blooms, changing ice conditions and research is required to ensure adaptation and mitigation.

WG 5: A Sustainably Harvested and Productive Ocean     

  • Improving our understanding of the interactions between environmental conditions, and the use of resources (ocean economy).
  • Expanding knowledge on future needs for marine-geological resources that are essential for a sustainable economic development, e.g. quartz sand, critical minerals such as REE’s.
  • Identifying the potential impacts of Arctic change on established and emerging maritime industries and how to address them, e.g. opening of new Arctic shipping routes.
  • Research towards defining safe and sustainable thresholds for ocean harvests (living and non-living) focused towards aiding policymakers and stakeholders in implementing a sustainable blue economy in the Arctic.
  • Development of geodiversity variables and operational indicators to assess the pressure impact on Arctic marine geosystems and ecosystems, and to support sustainable planning and management of resources (abiotic and biotic).

WG 6: A Transparent and accessible Ocean

  • Inspiration for focused efforts on Arctic capacity building (ocean education) and resource-sharing between countries and communities.
  • Identification of strategies for contributions to global ocean literacy initiatives that focus on the long range effects of Arctic change.
  • Efforts to increase the exchange of knowledge, information and data between all stakeholder levels (scientific, governmental, private sector, and public/community).
2 APRIL 2020