Conserving the Arctic’s unique biodiversity and ensuring sustainable development of the region’s resources is a major priority for the IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme. The Arctic is also important to Shell as a source of oil and gas.

Climate change in particular presents numerous challenges to arctic marine ecosystems. Summer sea ice retreat due to climate change is already affecting these ecosystems, and is predicted to accelerate in the coming years. This retreat is also assumed to significantly increase opportunities for industrial development in the Arctic.

Balancing these increasing development pressures with environmental protection and socio-economic-cultural effects is a significant challenge calling for collaborative thinking.

IUCN and Shell are working to facilitate such collaboration, with the aim of developing new approaches to anticipate and mitigate future changes on the Arctic’s people, plants and animals.

Areas of work: