The purpose of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) is to support and strengthen the development of multinational engagement for sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems. SAON was initiated by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee, and was established by the 2011 Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk.
The SAON inventory builds on a survey circulated in the community at the inception of the activity. This database is continously updated and maintained, and contains projects, activities, networks and programmes related to environmental observation in the circum-polar Arctic.
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MOSJ (Environmental Monitoring of Svalbard and Jan Mayen) is an environmental monitoring system and part of the Government’s environmental monitoring in Norway. An important function is to provide a basis for seeing whether the political targets set for the development of the environment in the North are being attained
CircHOB is an international collaborative health information system, involved in systematic, standardized, and consistent data collection and analysis. It is population-based, and produces data for all northern regions in all circumpolar countries CircHOB’s purpose is to monitor trends and patterns in health status, health determinants, and health care, provides quantitative evidence for planning and evaluation of health programs and services. It is on-going and sustainable with periodic updates Main gaps: Data on health-related behaviours, attitudes, and practices currently available from health surveys done in various circumpolar countries and regions are not directly comparable, due to differences in the construction of variables, sampling techniques, and contextual meanings of underlying concepts. Substantial international comparative research is needed before such data can be presented. Network type: CircHOB is a flagship project of the Arctic Human Health Expert Group of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council, formed in 2009. CircHOB is a program within the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research Data Center [www.ichr.ca] CircHOB extracts relevant data from existing data sources managed by different groups and agencies in different countries, including: • National population registries, censuses and intercensal estimates • Vital statistics • Mortality/morbidity/health care utilization databases • National/regional health surveys • Statistical reports CircHOB does NOT involve access to individual-level health records nor do any such records cross national borders. It involves the preparation of tables of aggregate data only. Most data are available from websites of national statistical agencies, health ministries, etc. Many but not all sites are available in English and language proficiency in all circumpolar languages [eg. Russian, Finnish, Icelandic] is essential. Some data require special tabulations produced by host agencies
This mission of the North Slope Science Initiative is to improve the regulatory understanding of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems for consideration in the context of resource development activities and climate change. The vision of the North Slope Science Initiative is to identify those data and information needs management agencies and governments will need in the future to develope management scenarios using the best information and mitigation to conserve the environments of the North Slope
The Stefansson Arctic Institute is an Icelandic governmental (Ministry for the Environment) research institute with focus on the Arctic region, also involved in public dissemination of research, exhibits, and international collaboration on northern human dimension issues, social and cultural change and human development, economic development and interdisciplinary aspects of human‐environmental relations in the Circumpolar Arctic and Northern North Atlantic. The institute is involved in a range of research and information dissemination projects and programmes. The institute was responsible for leading and hosting the project secretariat and publishing the Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR), the first comprehensive scientific assessment of human welfare, social development and cultural change in the circumpolar Arctic, and the follow-up projects Arctic Social Indicators (ASI-I, and ASI-II) 2006-2010. The Institute leads the work on the second AHDR (2010-2014); and follow-up work to the ASI projects includes the implementation of an Arctic Social Indicators monitoring system with a piloting of a monitoring system in the Inuvialuit region of Canada, North West Territories. The ASI indicators work is also being applied in community case studies on the Alaska North Slope Borough, as well as the North-Atlantic region, Yamal-Nenets, Sakha-Yakutia, and Nunavut. Main gaps: Not specified Network type: ‐ Thematic observations ‐ Community based observations
MRI's activities are organized into three main sections: Environment Section, Resources Section and Fisheries Advisory Section. Marine Environment Section: A large part of the sections work deals with environmental conditions (nutrients, temperature, salinity) in the sea, marine geology, and the ecology of algae, zooplankton, fish larvae, fish juveniles, and benthos. Amongst the larger projects undertaken within the Environment Section are investigations on currents using satellite monitored drifters and other modern technology, assessment of primary productivity, secondary productivity, overwintering and spring spawning of zooplankton, and studies on spawning of the most important exploited fish stocks. Marine Resources Section: Investigations are undertaken on the exploited stocks of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and marine mammals. The major part of the work involves estimating stock sizes and the total allowable catch (TAC) for each stock. Examples of some large projects within the Marine Resources Section are annual ground fish surveys covering the shelf area around Iceland and surveys for assessing inshore and deep‐water shrimp, lobster, and scallop stocks. The pelagic stocks of capelin and herring are also monitored annually in extensive research surveys using acoustic methods. Further, in recent years an extensive program concentrating on multi‐species interactions of exploited stocks in Icelandic waters has also been carried out. A designated project for improving understanding of the dynamics of the ecosystem deep north of Iceland has been conducted in recent years. The Fisheries Advisory Section: The Fisheries Advisory Section scrutinizes stock assessments and prepares the formal advice on TAC´s and sustainable fishing strategies for the government. Supporting departments: Important supporting departments are, the Electronic Department and the Fisheries Library. The Electronic Department supervises installation, testing and maintenance of research instruments. The Fisheries Library collects books and periodicals in all fields of marine sciences and publishes the MRI report series. 20 SAON: Inventory on Monitoring Networks Iceland Main gaps: Not specified Network type: ‐ Thematic observations ‐ Field stations ‐ Community based observations
The Northern Contaminants Program aims to reduce and where possible eliminate long-range contaminants from the Arctic Environment while providing Northerners with the information they need to make informed dietary choices, particularly concerning traditional/country food. To achieve these objectives the NCP conducts research and monitoring related to contaminants in the Arctic environment and people. Monitoring efforts focus on regular (annual) assessment of contaminant levels in a range of media, including air, biota and humans. Environmental research is conducted into the pathways, processes and effects of contaminants on Arctic ecosystems while human health research focuses on assessing contaminant exposure, toxicity research, epidemiological (cohort) studies, and risk-benefit assessment and communications. Main gaps: Contaminant measurements in Arctic seawater, toxicity data specific to Arctic species. Network type: - Thematical observations: Contaminants levels and relevant ancilliary parameters - Field stations: Atmospheric observing stations at Alert, Nunavut and Little Fox Lake, Yukon. - Community based observations: Numerous communities throughout the Canadian Arctic participate in sample collection - Coordination: National coordination of the program provided by the NCP secretariat, which also acts as liaison with AMAP.
to establish a network of hospital and public health laboratories throughout the Arctic which would allow collection and sharing of uniform laboratory and epidemiological data between Arctic countries that will describe the prevalence of infectious diseases of concern to Arctic residents and assist in the formulation of prevention and control strategies. Main gaps: Currently the sytem only monitors invasive bacterial diseases and tuberculosis but has the potential to be expanded to other countries and could be adapted to monitor other human health issues of concern to Arctic countries.
The NCP aims to reduce and, wherever possible, eliminate contaminants in traditionally harvested foods, while providing information that assists informed decision making by individuals and communities in their food use. The biomonitoring program monitors concentrations of contaminants in human tissues in the North and assesses spatial and temporal patterns/trends. Where available, contaminant guidelines are used to evaluate risk to populations/communities. A multi-disciplinary approach is used to evaluate contaminant concentrations, health effects, dietary research, and risk management/communication to meet the objectives of the NCP. Main gaps: Trend data of legacy POPs and metals, particularly for communities having only two sampling periods; measurements of tissue concentrations of emerging contaminants and other contaminants of interest (e.g., food preservation/storage, personal care products); health effects data. Network type: Thematical observations: Contaminant concentrations and health effects data - Field stations: None, community / population based research. - Community based observations: Participation of community health workers and community residents is essential for data collection through tissue samples - Coordination: NCP management committee, review teams, and regional contaminant committees all involve members from federal governments, territorial and provincial governments, northern Aboriginal partner organizations throughout all phases of research planning, implementation and reporting.
To provide for the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of surface water quantity data and information and services that are vital to meet a wide range of water management, engineering and environmental needs across Canada. Main gaps: The current hydrometric network is deficient in terms of understanding the regional hydrology and river regimes across Canada. The map below integrates Environment Canada’s two key frameworks: the National Drainage Area Framework with the National Terrestrial Ecological Framework to identify network deficiencies. In order to have sufficient information there needs to be at least one active hydrometric station measuring natural flow in each corresponding ecodistrict within a sub-sub drainage area. This strategy ensures that there will be sufficient information to understand the hydrological processes and the interrelationships with the landscape. This information is essential for research and enhancing our predictive capabilities and data transfer. As the map shows, areas of sufficiency are concentrated in the southern, more populated regions of the country. Network sufficiency declines to the north and northeast, with great extents of northern Canada having no coverage at all. Network type: in-situ.water level and streamflow monitoring stations
The main objective of the Arctic Avian Monitoring Network is to characterize the occurrence of birds in the Arctic to support regulatory responsibilities and conservation of birds and the biodiversity on which they depend. Temporal and spatial changes can be used to indicate changes in ecosystems that might otherwise be difficult to detect (e.g. marine areas) and can also be used to model predicted changes due to human activity. Main gaps: Large gaps both spatially and temporally. Many datasets cover short periods. Some species groups not well covered (e.g. landbirds and shorebirds) Network type: Network consists of programs divided into three species themes that combine common aspects of biology and human use: Waterfowl: e.g. ducks geese and swans • centered on aerial surveys of high density breeding areas and following non-breeding birds using satellite telemetry Seabirds: e.g. gulls, terns and auks • centered on surveys at breeding colonies and of birds at sea (either by direct observation or through the use of data loggers) Shorebirds: e.g. sandpipers, plovers and phalaropes • focused on broad-scale, stratified sampling of terrestrial areas and aerial surveys of non-marine habitats
ArcticNet brings together scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners in Inuit organizations, northern communities, government and industry to help Canadians face the impacts and opportunities of climate change and globalization in the Arctic. Over 110 ArcticNet researchers and 400 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates and technicians from 28 Canadian universities and 8 federal departments collaborate on 28 research projects with over 150 partner organizations from 15 countries. The major objectives of the Network are: • Build synergy among existing Centres of Excellence in the natural, human health and social Arctic sciences. • Involve northerners, government and industry in the steering of the Network and scientific process through bilateral exchange of knowledge, training and technology. • Increase and update the observational basis needed to address the ecosystem-level questions raised by climate change and globalization in the Arctic. • Provide academic researchers and their national and international collaborators with stable access to the coastal Canadian Arctic. • Consolidate national and international collaborations in the study of the Canadian Arctic. • Contribute to the training of the next generation of experts, from north and south, needed to study, model and ensure the stewardship of the changing Canadian Arctic. • Translate our growing understanding of the changing Arctic into regional impact assessments, national policies and adaptation strategies. Main gaps: [Not specified] Network type: Thematical observations:Yes Field stations: Yes on Land (see CEN sheet) and Marine (CCGS Amundsen) Community based observations: Yes Coordination: Yes
The Centre for Health Security and Communicable Disease Control at the Directorate of Health is operated according to the Act on Health Security and Communicable Diseases, No. 19/1997 (http://eng.velferdarraduneyti.is/media/Reglugerdir-enska/Act_on_Communicable_Diseases_2007.pdf). This act applies to diseases and agents that can cause epidemics and other serious infectious diseases or pose a threat to public welfare. “Diseases” means disease or infection caused by infectious material, microbes and their toxins or parasites as well as serious health consequences caused by toxic chemicals and radio nuclear materials. The act also applies to unusual and unexpected events which may cause severe health consequences of international concern. The Chief Epidemiologist (CE) is responsible for maintaining a register of communicable diseases, including agents causing diseases and health threat events, immunisations and the use of antimicrobial drugs. These registers are intended to be of use in preventive measures and in epidemiological research. The CE chairs an inter-organisational committee on response measures if there is a risk that animals, food, water, sewers, ventilation or anything else in the environment is spreading or could spread infectious sources of disease, toxic chemicals or radio-nuclear agents that threaten the health of humans. The Minister decides, on the advice of the CE, whether official measures should be implemented, such as immunisation, isolation of infected persons, disinfections, quarantining of communities or the whole country, closing of schools or prohibition of public gatherings. The CE may apply such emergency measures without seeking authority in advance, if he believes that any delay would entail a risk, but he must inform the Minister of his actions immediately Network type: - Thematic observations - Health care observations - Community based observations - Epidemic intelligence
To establish and maintain the state-owned national system of monitoring, analysis, assessment and support of decision making in the area of environmental and public health with focus on management of health risk factors such as environmental pollution, infections, food and water quality etc. The system has been enforced by the federal governmental Decree Feb. 2. 2006 # 60. It comprises all administrative units (republics, oblasts (counties), autonomous okrugs, cities and some municipalities of Russian Federation including those located in the arctic region. Main gaps: The health and demographic data link exclusively to administrative provinces of Russia which are not always applicable to geographical and climatic regions such as arctic. Network type: Service of Protection Consumers’ Right and Human Wellbeing, Federal Service of Hydrometeorology, laboratories accredited for contaminant measurements, regional/city administration health committees, hospitals Regional and City based observations
The network was established to assess the implications and impacts of pollution and contaminants on the health of Arctic residents. The biomonitoring program monitors concentrations of contaminants in human tissues in the eight circumpolar nations and assesses spatial and temporal patterns/trends and potential health effects at present and future levels. Where available, contaminant guidelines are used to evaluate risk to populations/communities. AMAP has been designed to have roots in the national programs of participating countries. Main gaps: Trend data of legacy POPs and metals is available, though some communities have only two sampling periods, further monitoing is planned; measurements of tissue concentrations of emerging contaminants and personal care products is just starting and needs to be continued; health effects research needs to be expanded to other regions with high exposure (e.g., arctic Russia). Network type: - Thematical observations: Contaminant concentrations and health effects data - Field stations: None, community / population based research. - Community based observations: Participation of community health workers and community residents for data collection through tissue samples - Coordination: Human Health Assessment Group (HHAG) was created bringing together leading researchers and research coordinators from eight circumpolar countries; AMAP Ring Test (QA/QC program) coordinates and standardizes laboratories for analyzing biomonitoring samples.
The aim of the IASOS network is to monitor changes on the way to better (or worse) Quality of Life (QL) and sustainability, increase knowledge of trends in socio-economic, political and living conditions of residents (indigenous and non-indigenous) of the Russian North under the impacts of happening changes in climate, biodiversity, character of human impacts, socioeconomic and political changes and human responses (including strategic planning for climate change adaptation, etc.) The major objectives of the IASOS network are: - Identify main QL issues, factors effecting these issues; - Observe and analyze human-defined targets and solutions of arising QL issues taking into account local people’s perceptions and strategies developed at different scales (from local to national and circumpolar) in order to achieve better QL and sustainability; - Detect key indicators (most important from the QL improvement point of view) to be monitored and tested during long-term observations in case study regions (observation sites); - Carry out local observations of socio-economic and environmental trends impacting QL and human capital on the base of specially developed methodology, approaches and tools of socially-oriented observations; - Involve arctic residents (indigenous and non-indigenous), their local and traditional knowledge in QL observations; - Raise peoples’ awareness of happening changes in living conditions, policy and environment, help people to set targets in order to achieve better QL and sustainability. This is to be done with the help of participatory observations, information-educational workshops and other tools; - Consolidate national and international collaborations in the Russian North on socially-oriented observations and research; - Translate better experience of the Arctic states in achieving higher quality of life and sustainability into local, national policies and adaptation strategies. Network type: - Thematical observations - Community-based observations
The Canadian Ice Service (CIS), a branch of the Meteorological Service of Canada, is the leading authority for information about ice in Canada’s navigable waters. CIS provides the most timely and accurate information about sea ice, lake ice, river ice and icebergs to: • Ensure the safety of both mariners and Canadians, their property and their environment through the provision of hazardous ice condition warnings • Provide present and future generations of Canadians with sufficient knowledge to support sound environmental policies In summer and fall data collection and analysis is focussed on the Arctic and the Hudson Bay regions with daily satellite acquisitions. In winter and spring, the data collection is focussed on the Great lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of the St. Lawrence and the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts The following products are produced: • In situ briefings, warnings, daily ice charts, image analysis charts, regional charts, observed charts, short- and long-term forecasts and iceberg bulletins and charts; specialised ice information services for Other Government Departments and research communities • Oil spill monitoring; satellite image analysis for oil spill detection • Annual Ice Atlas • Archive of climatic ice information Main gaps: Satellite monitoring of Arctic sea ice is limited to: • Canadian waters, • Bi-Weekly acquisitions from January to March • Weekly acquisitions from April to May • Daily acquisitions of areas where shipping is active from June to November Network type: various: satellite data, observations from ships and aircraft. CIS acquires and analyses thousands of satellite images, conducts millions of square kilometres of airborne reconnaissance and receives hundreds of ship and shore ice reports annually.
The main objective of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Network is to develop and implement, for priority marine ecosystems, an integrated, long-term biodiversity monitoring plan to detect changes in biodiversity temporally and spatially, and to establish links between such changes and anthropogenic drivers. Main gaps: Large gaps both spatially and temporally. Many datasets cover short periods. Network type: - Thematical observations: all trophic levels and appropriate proxy variables for biodiversity - Field stations: fixed locations on land; research ships and icebreakers of the Canadian Coast Guard; other ships of opportunity as available; moorings - Community based observations: connected to scientific projects - Coordination (e.g. not directly involved in observations, but coordinates data and use (for instance AMAP) : national coordination of the network, development of plans, data analysis, reporting
The aim of the programme is to obtain a snapshot of the occurrence of potentially hazardous substances in the environment, both in regions most likely to be polluted as well as in some very pristine environments. The focus is on little known , anthropogenic substances and their derivates, which are either used in high volumes or are likely to be persistent and hazardous to humans and other organisms. If substances being screened are found in significant amounts this may result in further investigations or monitoring on national level. The results from the screening can be used when analysing possible environmental effects of the selected substances, and to assess whether they pose a risk to the environment or not. The data are used as input to EU chemical eavluation processes and to the UN Stockholm convention. The screening results are valuable when data on chemicals are needed within the REACH-system in Europe. Locations: Varying, according to properties of the substances. Samples from both hot-spot and remote sites are included. Geographical coverage (countries): Norway, including Bear Island and Spitsbergen and Norwegian seas. The Nordic countries are cooperating on screening information exchange and studies, see net site and brochure: http://nordicscreening.org/ http://nordicscreening.org/index.php?module=Pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=10&pid=1
Within the State of Alaska, the Alaska Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program collects and publishes cancer data as part of the National Cancer Institute’s overall SEER program, and the Alaska Native Stroke Registry is a project to increase the understanding of stroke in Alaska Natives, with the goal of improving stroke care. Circumpolar linkage of such networks would facilitate international collaboration, international standardization of data collection international comparison of comparable data, thereby greatly adding to our knowledge of Arctic health, and enhancing design of treatment and prevention.
The overall goal of AON is to obtain data that will support scientific investigations of Arctic environmental system change. The observing objectives are to: 1. Maintain science-driven observations of environmental system changes that are already underway; 2. Deploy new, science-driven observing systems and be prepared for detection of future environmental system change; 3. Develop observing data sets that will contribute to (a) the understanding of Arctic environmental system change (via analysis, synthesis and modelling) and its connections to the global system, and (b) improved prediction of future Arctic environmental system change and its connections to the global system. Main gaps: Understanding Change and Responding to Change panels, has formed an AON Design and Implementation (ADI) Task Force. Composed of Arctic and non-Arctic scientists with experience and expertise in scientific observing and observing system operation and design, the goal of the task force is to provide advice to the scientific community and NSF on observing system/network design options that are available for identifying gaps that hinder scientific understanding of Arctic environmental system change. The task force will hold two workshops and address two main objectives: (1) evaluate the current SEARCH science questions and observing priorities, and recommend new priorities in the light of the environmental system changes that have occurred since 2005; and (2) evaluate observing system/network design methods, including pilot projects and small-scale tests. A publicly available report will be released in summer 2010. It is anticipated that the report will be of interest to the broader Arctic science community, the governments of the Arctic countries and other countries, NGOs and numerous stakeholders.