Since Canada and the United States will chair the Arctic Council through to 2017, Charlotte Moser, Chair of CEM North America took the first steps to establish the Task Force in consultation with Llan Kelman, CEM Arctic Focal point and Martha McConnell, Manager of the IUCN Polar Program.

This Pan Arctic Task Force includes presently:
• Ilan Kelman, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London, England
• Joan Nymand Larsen, Senior Scientist, Stefansson Arctic Institute. Akureyri, Iceland
• Phil Mundy, Director Auke Bay Laboratories Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, Juneau, Alaska, U.S.
• Cecilie von Quillfeldt, Senior Researcher, Norwegian Polar Institute, Oslo, Norway
• Alexander Shestakov, Director WWF Global Arctic Programme, Ottawa, Canada
• Martha McConnell, Manager IUCN Polar Programme (Ex-officio) Washington, DC
• Jean Thie, Task Force Chair, EcoInformatics International, Wakefield, Canada

The objective of the Arctic Ecosystems Task Force is to produce a short draft document to serve as the basis for the creation of a permanent Thematic Group on Arctic Ecosystems for CEM. This document will define the mission of the Thematic Group by identifying a niche within Arctic ecosystems and key issues in the Arctic where the Commission’s experts in ecosystem management can make a substantive contribution to sustainable management of Arctic natural resources.

In addition, the Task Force will make recommendations to help the Commission create the new Thematic Group by identifying potential partners and leadership to manage it; proposing a timeline for its launch; and proposing a potential work plan. For instance, the Task Force may recommend that an assessment be conducted about prior research on the status and threats to Arctic ecosystems; strategic considerations to reach objectives; and primary target groups, e.g. science/research, policy makers/decision takers.

The Arctic Ecosystems Thematic Group will be pan-Arctic. It will involve scientists and researchers working in all eight Arctic countries and CEM members in its Western Europe region. Its knowledge network and work will link up with other IUCN Commissions Specialist and Working Groups with significance for the Arctic.

Terms of Reference for the Thematic Group on Arctic Ecosystem Management will be drafted by the task force for adoption by the Steering Committee of CEM. The Commission plans to announce the formation of the new thematic group in November 2014 at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.

If you have an interest in contributing to the work of the CEM Arctic Ecosystems Management Task Force and later Thematic Group, please contact the present Chair: Jean Thie at