Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic November 09, 2011 - 9:48 am

WWF launches planning tool for Arctic

"We must plan for a world of change"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
The WWF's Rapid Assessment of Circumarctic Ecosystem Resilience plan or “RACER
The WWF's Rapid Assessment of Circumarctic Ecosystem Resilience plan or “RACER" is aimed at helping governments and communities around the Arctic plan for climate change.

The World Wildlife Fund launched a new tool to help Arctic governments and communities plan for climate change Nov. 9 at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Lulea, Sweden.

“We must plan for a world of change if we wish to conserve Arctic ecological systems, including the services they provide to people,” said Dr. Martin Sommerkorn from WWF’s global Arctic program. “In these times of rapid change, effective stewardship of Arctic natural resources requires a new way of thinking.”

The WWF plan, called the Rapid Assessment of Circumarctic Ecosystem Resilience or “RACER,” offers two-step approach.

The first step involves identifying and mapping areas and features on the land and seas which are likely to help Arctic ecosystems cope with change.

The second step then looks at what climate impacts lie ahead for those places by 2100 and how they will be affected.

From its analyses, RACER can produce maps to identify areas that will be resilient to climate change.

This will allow for better planning and decision-making, the WWF says.

WWF has already piloted the RACER method in four regions in the Russian and Canadian Arctic.

“RACER is an overdue, new way forward that helps safeguard the functioning ecosystems at the heart of Arctic life,” Sommerkorn said.

WWF hopes the Arctic Council will use RACER in its work, including its Arctic proposed change assessment.

For more information on RACER, go to http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/news/racer/.

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