FACE-IT – an EU project about the future of Arctic coastal systems

FACE-IT – an EU project about the future of Arctic coastal systems

Fjord systems in Svalbard are facing rapid cryosphere and biodiversity changes due to the ongoing climate changes. Together with other core institutions UNIS starts the cross-disciplinary project FACE-IT in 2020, aiming to deliver innovative and adaptive co-management for Arctic fjords.

FACE-IT builds upon the fact that climate induced biodiversity is at different stages in the Arctic region, and we are thus taking a pan-Arctic approach by comparisons between Svalbard, Greenland and Finnmark, Norway. In Svalbard, UNIS will be responsible for the Isfjorden system and the east coast of Svalbard and will do the comparisons with Kongsfjorden (Svalbard), with Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåpsfjorden), Qeqertarsuup Tunua (Disko Bay) and Young Sound in Greenland, and with Porsangerfjorden in Finnmark.

The project is driven by a two-pronged approach between biological drivers and social impacts on local communities and indigenous people. UNIS will focus on the changes in biodiversity in our fjords, and how this will might impact the ecosystem functions. On a bigger scale this will be linked to the societal challenges for Longyearbyen, specifically regarding current and future marine food provision, livelihood and nature-based tourism. The end outcome of the project will be adaptation strategies and governance suggestions to optimise the possibilities of the biodiversity changes, and mitigation strategies to reduce negative consequences. In Svalbard, this might for example be linked to use of marine food resources, or changes in nature-based tourism.

The project is coordinated by the University in Bremen, and will have 14 partners, included five from Norway, two from Germany and Denmark, one from France and Greenland, in addition to third country participation from the US, Canada and China.

For more information, visit the FACE-IT project’s homepage: https://www.face-it-project.eu/

Contact persons: Børge Damsgård, Anna Vader, Janne E. Søreide, and Mads Forchhammer.