The future of Arctic coastal ecosystems – Identifying transitions in fjord systems and adjacent coastal areas (Face-it)

The overarching objective of FACE-IT is to enable adaptive co-management of social-ecological fjord systems in the Arctic in the face of rapid cryosphere and biodiversity changes. The project will identify ways to manage the impacts of climate change on the cryosphere and marine biodiversity, and the interaction with other drivers of change. FACE- IT will contribute to IPCC assessments as well as key Sustainable Development Goals. The concept of FACE-IT rests on a comparison of selected Arctic fjord systems at different stage of cryosphere loss in Greenland, Svalbard and Finnmark, Northern Norway. The underlying two- pronged hypothesis is that the biodiversity of Arctic coastal zones is changing in accordance with the rates of cryosphere changes, and that these changes affect local communities, food production, livelihoods and other ecosystem services. FACE-IT approaches European Arctic fjords as local social- ecological systems. It gathers a strong interdisciplinary team of internationally recognised experts from both natural and social sciences. FACE-IT is organized in eight interdisciplinary work packages focusing on the drivers of change (WP1), their effects on biodiversity (WP2), ecosystem functioning (WP3), food provision and indigenous livelihoods (WP4), nature-based tourism (WP5), the co-production of knowledge to identify governance strategies for adaptive co-management (WP6), and public outreach and policy input (WP7), and project management (WP8). It includes the participation of Arctic stakeholders to ensure that Indigenous and local knowledges, perceptions and concerns about ongoing changes are taken into account in defining innovative and adaptive co-management approaches towards a more sustainable future. In this way FACE-IT will deliver significant contributions towards the implementation of the new integrated EU policy for the Arctic.

Western norway research institute is responsible for work package 5 in the project, which will look at how actors in nature-based tourism are affected by changes in climate, cryosphere and biodiversity, and how tourism can be managed in a sustainable way.

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Start date:
End date:
Project lead:
Research Professor and Reaserch Leader
Project staff:
Senior Researcher
Senior Researcher