The environmental organization WWF has released its first Arctic Council conservation scorecard. The results show that the Council as a collective body has generally done well in delivering results, which mostly consist of assessments and studies or further recommendations. The Arctic states, however, have done less well in delivering results at a national level, says WWF.
The scorecard provides a snapshot of the implementation of environment-related direction adopted during 2006-2013. This direction could have been contained in reports, ministerial statements or other Council products.It assesses six areas:
1. Conservation Areas
4. Cooperation on Oil Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response
5. Black Carbon and Adaptation
6. Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)
The development of the scorecard showed up some flaws in the Council process, says WWF. Less than half of the Arctic Council direction analyzed by WWF was capable of being measured.
The scorecard also points out that the level of ambition of Arctic Council action is sometimes not up to the challenge of meeting the threats, particularly in the areas of climate change and oil spill prevention and response.
“For some time, we have been encouraging the Arctic states and the Council to assess their progress on Arctic Council direction, and to ensure that direction is leading to action,” says Alexander Shestakov, Director of WWF’s Arctic Program. “The scorecard shows the Arctic states need to pay more attention nationally to their internationally agreed commitments. We suggest that they all adopt processes and structures that will help them achieve that goal.”
Specifically, WWF recommends that:
* Arctic Council direction be more specific to provide effective guidance to implementing authorities, including the results that should be achieved and deadlines;
* Arctic states allocate adequate and sufficient resources to deliver on agreed direction both at national levels and through the Arctic Council;
* Arctic States establish an appropriate national process/body to coordinate actions for implementation of the direction agreed upon at the AC, and develop a national implementation plan;
* Arctic states develop a consolidated reporting template that would enable comparisons of national implementation actions, and develop a mechanism and schedule for regular national reporting on delivery against Arctic Council direction;
* Arctic states follow up on their political statements and coordinate joint input into international Arctic relevant processes and negotiations, especially in the
areas of climate change, shipping and biodiversity;
* Arctic states study the conservation effectiveness of the measures they implement through better measuring and reporting on the state of the Arctic
WWF intends to produce a Scorecard every two years, in sync with the Arctic Council ministerial cycle.