The Arctic Biodiversity Congress 2018 will run over three full days. There will be relevant side meetings/excursions before and after the Congress.

The program will consist of:

  • keynote addresses
  • plenary panels
  • sessions (90-minute intervals that include submissions (i.e., presentations and/or alternative submissions such as story-telling, art, workshop, etc.)
  • poster session
  • excursions and side meetings (to be determined)

Call for program content

Individuals and organizations are welcomed to provide abstracts, propose or chair sessions, and submit posters that address Arctic Biodiversity Assessment recommendations and implementation actions, and encourage a dialogue on Arctic biodiversity among scientists, indigenous peoples, policy makers, government officials, citizens, industry representatives and others. Download the Arctic Biodiversity Congress Submission Guidelines here.

The Congress program will focus on Arctic Biodiversity Assessment recommendations and implementation actionsPlease refer to these documents while preparing for your submission and be prepared to detail how your submission addresses these recommendations and/or implementation actions.


Content submissions are welcomed under the following headings:

  • presentations (i.e., oral presentations and alternative submissions such as panel discussions, story-telling, art/dance, writing exercise, priority setting exercise, etc.)
  • chair/organize sessions
  • submit posters

The call for program content will run from November 15, 2017-March 30, 2018. Content is guided by the Program Advisory Committee and submissions will be reviewed for inclusion into the program. The Congress Secretariat will reply by May 15, 2018.

Abstracts (i.e., presentations and alternative submissions such as panel discussions, story-telling, art/dance, writing exercise, priority setting exercise, etc.) will be organized under overarching thematic sessions, which are listed below. 

There is a limited space made available for additional session proposals that do not address the headings below. Please note  if you are a session chair (for existing and new sessions) you may be expected to incorporate presentations from the call for program content into the session.


Sessions are individual 90-minute events that address a specific issue or topic and fit within a broader theme and can take different formats to best suit the intention of the session (i.e. presentations, panel discussions, story-telling, art/dance, writing exercise, priority setting exercise, etc.). Sessions run parallel and are organized into time blocks in the program.

Sessions are intended to be diverse and broadly worded so as not to be too restrictive, and to ensure that participants can see their work and interests under numerous headings. They have been grouped under the six themes used to group the recommendations in the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) Report for Policy Makers: climate change, ecosystem based management, mainstreaming biodiversity, identifying and safeguarding important areas for biodiversity, improving knowledge and public awareness.

The suggested sessions listed below were developed and guided by the Program Advisory Committee, the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) Report for Policy Makers, the Actions for Arctic Biodiversity: implementing the recommendations of the ABA, and the previous Arctic Biodiversity Congress 2014 program and may be adjusted after the call for program content. 

As session chairs you may be expected to accommodate additional presentations from the call for program content.

Climate change

  • CC1: Impact of reduced ice cover in the Arctic marine environment
  • CC2: Biodiversity and climate change: impacts on non-marine ecosystems
  • CC3: Resilience and adaptation in the Arctic environment
  • CC4: Early warnings: approaches to assessing and measuring change in biodiversity
  • CC5: Climate change: other

Ecosystem Based Approach to Management

  • EBM1: Ecosystem based approach to management across the Arctic
  • EBM2: Scenario planning for reduced risk
  • EBM3: Arctic biodiversity in regional and international targets
  • EBM4: Biodiversity as a fundamental component of environmental impact assessments
  • EBM5: Monitoring as a tool for ecosystem based approach to management
  • EBM6: Conservation and sustainable harvest
  • EBM7: Ecosystem based approach to management: Other

Mainstreaming biodiversity

  • MB1: Arctic ecosystem services and natural capital
  • MB2: Biodiversity objectives in Arctic development and industry
  • MB3: Innovative partnerships for biodiversity conservation
  • MB4: Reporting and communicating Arctic biodiversity
  • MB5: Worldwide partnerships to conserve migratory birds
  • MB6: Mainstreaming other

Addressing stressors and cumulative effects

  • AS1: Invasive species in the Arctic: prevention, detection and response
  • AS2: Contaminants, wildlife and health
  • AS3: Oil spill prevention, preparedness and response in the Arctic
  • AS4: Pollution and waste: impacts to wildlife on land and sea
  • AS5: Reducing effects of shipping, commercial fishing, tourism and infrastructure development on biodiversity
  • AS6: Managing human-wildlife conflicts in the Arctic
  • AS7: Understanding cumulative effects
  • AS8: Stressors and cumulative effects: Other

Identifying and safeguarding important areas for biodiversity

  • IAB1: Hot spots, connectivity and sensitive areas for biodiversity conservation benefit
  • IAB2: Safeguarding habitats for Arctic species under changing environmental conditions
  • IAB3: Mitigating disturbance in sensitive areas
  • IAB4: Arctic protected areas: identification, effectiveness, co-management and cooperation
  • IAB5: Biodiversity, cultural heritage and land-use planning
  • IAB6: Identifying and safeguarding important areas for biodiversity: Other

Improving knowledge

  • KNO1: Circumpolar Marine Biodiversity Monitoring
  • KNO2: Circumpolar Freshwater Biodiversity Monitoring
  • KNO3: Circumpolar Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring
  • KNO4: Circumpolar Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring
  • KNO5: Education, outreach and engagement
  • KNO6: Traditional knowledge and science under a co-production of knowledge
  • KNO7: Improving data management, coordination and access
  • KNO8: Advances in Arctic biodiversity monitoring and modelling
  • KNO9: Knowledge: Other

 Draft program structure

The form and content of the Congress program is under development, with guidance from the Program Advisory Committee. Congress organizers reserve the right to make changes to the preliminary program depending on advice from the Program Advisory Committee and the results from the call for content. Such changes will be posted on this website. 

October 9
Plenary continued
October 10
October 11

Excursions and side meetings

Several excursions and meetings may occur before and after the Congress proceedings. Details will be posted on the website as they are confirmed.

  1. Excursions: various events, workshops and/or field trips are set to be organized in connection with the Congress. They will be made available online for additional registration as they are confirmed.
  2. Associated meetings and events: closed or invite-only spaces for organizations to host their own meetings. These can be held during the three Congress days and/or on the days prior to and after the Congress itself. These have not yet been scheduled and will depend on room availability and group scheduling priorities. 
  3. Exhibit and networking area: space outside plenary for exhibits, partner booths/displays (including photo competition) and networking
  4. Photo competition: will be shown in exhibit area and displayed and used physically elsewhere and virtually on the internet.
  5. Media room: space where press/media can work.
  6. Closed meetings for high-level dignitaries can be held during the first day of the Congress, where possible arranged as lunch or dinner events.

Reporting and recording

There will be note-taking from all sessions, in order to assist in preparing outputs from the Congress. These sources of information will inform the following potential products of the Congress:

  • Chair(s) statement
  • Congress proceedings
  • Session reporting

In addition, presentations given during the Congress will be posted online for posterity. If there are elements of the presentation you wish not to post online then please notify the Congress Secretariat.


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