Arctic Council to Produce Harmonized Map Covering Region
18 June: The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the Arctic Council's biodiversity working group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to guide national mapping organizations in the Arctic in producing a harmonized map covering the entire Arctic region, with data on, inter alia, climate and biodiversity. The aim of the Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (Arctic SDI) is to help harmonize, combine and integrate diverse data sets.A wide range of data with a spatial component has been generated in the Arctic. However, the management of such data has mainly been national or issue-specific and, thus, many of the existing datasets are distributed among many organizations. Thus, the Arctic SDI will also contribute to improved sharing and analysis across the Arctic, and will be critical in helping to understand the impacts of climate change on nature, biodiversity management, and the adaptability and sustainable use of all living resources in the Arctic. Spatial data can be used in the Arctic as a tool for integrated planning. Arctic SDI users include: the Arctic Council Working Groups; scientific groups engaged in Arctic research; governmental authorities involved in decision regarding the Arctic; and the broader public, including the private sector, NGOs and media. The national mapping organizations participating in the project are from the US, Canada, the Russian Federation, Denmark and the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
CCAF consists of national representatives assigned by each of the eight Arctic Council Member States, representatives of Indigenous Peoples' organizations that are Permanent Participants to the Council, and Arctic Council observer countries and organizations. [Arctic Council Press Release] [CAFF Website] [Arctic SDI Website]