Changes in protected areas
Changes2Protected areas are a key element for maintaining and conserving both Arctic and global biodiversity, protecting important habitat for resident and migratory species. The first protected areas in the Arctic were established at the beginning of the 20th century although the area under protection remained low until the 1970s. The extent of the Arctic which is under some form of protected status doubled between 1991 and 2010, from 5.6% to 11%. There are now 1,127 protected areas covering 3.5 million km2 of the Arctic. Climate change is a significant challenge to protected areas as a conservation tool because the features protected today may be altered or lost in the future. Implementing sound environmental conservation measures both within and beyond the boundaries of protected areas will be important to biodiversity conservation. This is particularly important in marine ecosystems where the level of protection is lower in comparison to terrestrial ecosystems.