One Page Description: Safeguarding the Arctic
The Arctic is home to several of the Earth's least disturbed large marine ecosystems. Climate change, however, is rapidly melting the Arctic pack ice, fundamentally altering these natural systems and opening up this fragile region to unregulated or poorly regulated commercial fishing, offshore oil and gas development and industrial shipping.
The race is on among nations and industries to claim and extract these newly available resources. Without adequate protections in place, increased development poses significant risks for the Arctic's remote and relatively pristine ocean wilderness areas and a host of globally significant wildlife, including polar bears, bowhead whales, ringed seals, narwhals and walrus found nowhere else on Earth, as well as 100 key species of fish and 50 species of migratory seabirds.