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Ida Aukens tale ved Arktisk miljøministermøde



Ida Auken



Jukkasjärvi i Sverige



A warm thanks to Sweden for organising this important event. I am glad that we as Arctic Environmental Ministers are able to meet again and influence the agenda for the upcoming Arctic Council meeting.

I believe that we as ministers of the environment need to set the stage in the Arctic Council for the environmental work.

And I believe that this work is much needed to protect the vulnerable environment!

Our biodiversity represents the very foundation for our societies. It also represents a delicate balance. If tipped – it will have severe consequences. For our nature. For our economies. For our way of living.

The arctic ecosystems are vital for the planet

The arctic ecosystem provides services that literally support life for the entire planet:

Climate regulation, ocean circulation, chemical cycling in the ocean, breeding grounds for countless species of economic value.

It is fair to say that without a healthy functioning Arctic ecosystem, the way of life for humans everywhere is threatened.

The Arctic is a very essential place for ecosystem services. And so it is a very essential place for ecosystem based management.

And when we implement ecosystem based management, we need to focus on the connection between a broad set of ecosystem services and their connection to human well-being.

Global challenges require global actions

Many of the world’s most serious environmental problems –loss of biodiversity, climate change and marine pollution – are global in scope and effect.

Nor pollution or climate change, threatened species or invasive species recognize national boundaries – not in Arctic, not anywhere.

And neither should our efforts to secure our vital ecosystems.

The international and regional cooperation is essential when addressing the underlying causes of these problems. And it is essential when developing and implementing effective solutions.

Global challenges require global actions!

Two years ago we adopted some ambitious and foreseeing political commitments at Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) COP10 in Nagoya. With these commitments in our hands we have the possibility to show leadership on biodiversity globally and regionally.

In Nagoya:

We promised to reduce the pollution so it doesn’t threaten the ecosystem.

We promised to ensure a sustainable use of natural resources and help the most threatened species to survive.

And we promised to conserve and protect the most important ecosystems – and their ability to absorb and store carbon.

But the thing is: The global challenges don’t require global promises. Politicians require promises. The challenges require actual actions.

And I believe that we – as Arctic environmental ministers – can play a key role in pushing implementation of the international commitments and ensure actual actions.

Some of these actions are well underway:

Many of you are already working hard to ensure a green transition that gets more out of less.

That supports the development of new green technologies and resource efficient production – that works with nature, not against.

But we need to amplify this effort. To push the green transition nationally, regionally and globally. For greener technology, for valuation of natures resources and for a more sustainable development in the arctic environment.

We need to preserve the valuable resources. To ensure sustainable mining, hunting and fishing.

We have already lost the Great Auk (Gejrfuglen) and the Stellars Sea Cow (Stellars søko). We don’t wanna lose the polar bear, the reindeer, the whales or any other species in the arctic – big or small.

They are vital to the local population, to the ecosystems and to the overarching wealth of the biodiversity on earth.

The challenges are plentiful. However I believe that we together can manage the task and fulfil our obligations from COP10 and COP11 in Hyderabad, India last October.

The targets are clear, concrete, measureable and communicable – but also realistic.

And I believe we can use them as solid reference for monitoring the progress in the Arctic – and thereby ensure constant progress.

I believe that we need to ensure a healthy and rich biodiversity to build the world’s future economy upon. That we need to adopt a green inclusive economy.

Conclusion: The Arctic Council can play a key role

I believe that the Arctic Council is in a unique position to play a key role globally.

And we as ministers of the environment have the obligation to steer the environmental work of the Arctic Council in the right direction.

If rainforests are the lungs of the earth – the Arctic is the heart that keeps the ocean circulating.

Let us take action now – before the Arctic needs CPR and Defibrillators.



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