Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area

White House Announces Actions to Protect Natural and Cultural Resources in Alaskan Arctic Ocean

December 09, 2016

Since taking office, President Obama has worked to protect the Arctic’s natural and cultural resources and the communities that rely upon them through the use of science-based decision making, enhanced coordination of Federal Arctic management, efforts to combat illegal fishing, and revitalization of the process for establishing new marine sanctuaries.  Building on this effort, today, President Obama is announcing new steps to enhance the resilience of the Alaskan Arctic environment and the sustainability of Alaskan native communities with the creation of the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area.

In addition to today’s protections, the Obama Administration is announcing approximately $30 million in philanthropic commitments for projects in rural northern Alaska and Canada.  These projects include investments over the next three years related to shipping, ecosystem science, community and ecological resilience, and tribal engagement.  Earlier this week, the Department of Commerce deployed an Economic Development Assessment Team to Nome, Alaska to help the region diversify, grow its economy, and address challenges related to climate change and community resilience.

Today’s actions are also supportive of the March 2016 U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership and make substantial progress on its objectives of  conserving Arctic biodiversity through science-based decision-making, incorporating indigenous science and traditional knowledge into decision-making, and supporting strong Arctic communities. These actions employ science-based leadership to improve marine and coastal resilience and sustain our Nation’s precious natural resources.


Press Statement of the Association of Village Council Presidents : Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area

December 9, 2016

The Obama administration announced today its decision to create the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. The Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP), a tribal consortium representing 56 Alaska Native Tribes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, joined the efforts of the Bering Sea Elders Group and Kawerak, Inc., in requesting White House action to protect these vital waters from the damaging effects of climate change and industrial threats to the subsistence way of life critical to the food security of the region. The President’s Order outlines a policy that recognizes the mutual relationship our Tribes have to these waters, and the importance of purposeful management of the resources in this area as the ocean temperatures rise.

“The Bering Sea is like our grocery store and we were born knowing the importance of these waters. Our task is to protect it,” said Vivian Korthuis, CEO of the Association of Village Council Presidents, and Tribal Member of the Native Village of Emmonak. “AVCP is grateful that the President heard our request.”


Kawerak, Inc. News Release: Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area

December 9, 2016

Today, President Obama issued an Executive Order to safeguard the Bering Sea and establish the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. The Order is monumental to the Bering Strait and the Arctic, as the protection of the Bering Sea and its resources is essential to the survival of the people of the Arctic. The Tribes in Alaska were the first natural resource managers, the first participants in arctic commerce, and the first enviromenmentalists. For us, a healthy ecosystem is a matter of food security, and it also allows us to maintain our unique cultural identity and rich heritage. This Executive Order will protect the vital subsistence economies that have lasted for millennia.


President Obama Signs Executive Order to Protect the Northern Bering Sea

December 9, 2016

The Obama Administration announced today a landmark decision to create the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. This unprecedented action is in direct response to the Tribes along the coast of the Bering Sea, who petitioned the President for this protection. The Bering Sea Elders Group, with delegates from 39 tribes, passed a resolution as one voice and traveled to Washington, D.C. to ask the Administration for help. The Administration heard us and today issued an Executive Order that recognizes and respects the peoples of our region and our dependence on the Bering Sea.

In addition to the Bering Sea Elders Group, the White House action was requested by the two tribal consortiums collectively representing 76 tribes – Kawerak, Inc. and the Association of Village Council Presidents.

The Executive Order establishes an important set of policies aimed at protecting the people of our region and our subsistence way of life in the face of increasing effects of climate change. It also, for the first time, creates a formal role for Tribes in the decision making so as to ensure that our voices continue to be heard as we deal with the effects of climate change and increasing pressures on our resources.

“It is my honor to thank President Obama for signing this Executive Order to help our Tribes,” said Harry Lincoln, Yup’ik elder from Tununak and Chair of Bering Sea Elders Group. “It is the Native elders’ vision that the northern Bering Sea and the resources that our people rely on be protected because they are the foundation of our culture and way of life. We have been here since time immemorial and it is our responsibility to pass our rich heritage on to future generations.”

For more:


10 Key Reasons to Protect the Northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait

  1. Culture, Food Security, Economy
  2. Way of Life
  3. Migration and the Rhythm of Sea Ice
  4. Underwater Soundscape
  5. Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  6. Variability
  7. Small-Scale Local Fisheries
  8. Front Edge of Climate Change
  9. Uncertainty
  10. Shared Vision

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Natl Historic Preservation Act of 1966 – 50th Anniversary

The  (NHPA) (Public Law 89-665; 54 U.S.C. 300101 et seq.) is legislation intended to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States of America. The act created the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and the State Historic Preservation Offices.

Senate Bill 3035, the National Historic Preservation Act, was signed into law on October 15, 1966, and is the most far-reaching preservation legislation ever enacted in the United States. Several amendments have been made since. Among other things, the act requires federal agencies to evaluate the impact of all federally funded or permitted projects on historic properties (buildings, archaeological sites, etc.) through a process known as Section 106 Review.

For more:


“The historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people . . . the preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans” – National Historic Preservation Act, 1966

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White House Arctic Science Ministerial

White House Arctic Science Ministerial
On September 28, 2016, science ministers from across the globe will gather in Washington, DC, for the first-ever White House Arctic Science Ministerial.

Understanding the rapid changes that are affecting the Arctic—as well as the impacts of these changes on the rest of the world—requires a cooperative, global approach based on research partnerships involving participants from Arctic and non-Arctic nations, including, of course, the people who call the Arctic home. That’s why, on September 28, 2016—just after the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s historic trip to Alaska—the Administration will host the first-ever Arctic Science Ministerial.

The White House Arctic Science Ministerial will bring together ministers of science, chief science advisors, and other high-level officials from countries around the world, as well as representatives from indigenous groups, to expand joint collaborations focused on Arctic science, research, observations, monitoring, and data-sharing. The goals of the event are to advance promising, near-term science initiatives and create a context for increased international scientific collaboration on the Arctic over the longer term.

Specifically, the Ministerial will focus on four key themes:

  1. Arctic Science Challenges and their Regional and Global Implications
  2. Strengthening and Integrating Arctic Observations and Data Sharing
  3. Applying Expanded Scientific Understanding of the Arctic to Build Regional Resilience and Shape Global Responses
  4. Arctic Science as a Vehicle for STEM Education and Citizen Empowerment

For more:



Artic Executive Steering Committee – Twitter


September 28, 2016
White House Arctic Science Ministerial
Washington, DC





3rd Annual Our Ocean Conference

Our Ocean, One Future

Life on Earth depends on the ocean.  A healthy ocean is central to human wellbeing.  The ocean feeds billions of people, employs millions of workers, and generates trillions of dollars in the world economy.

Yet, as vast as our ocean and its resources are, they are not infinite.  And today the ocean is under tremendous pressure from human activity – including unsustainable and illegal fishing, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts.

Secretary of State John Kerry will host the 2016 Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C., on September 15 to 16 to catalyze actions to protect our ocean from these threats and to empower a new generation to lead the way toward a healthy and sustainable ocean.

Areas of Focus

  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Climate and Ocean
  • Sustainable Fisheries
  • Marine Pollution

For more:

September 15-16, 2016 @ 9:00 AM EDT
3rd Annual Our Ocean Conference
Washington, D.C.


Live Stream:



US Joins Paris Climate Agreement

The Paris Agreement (FrenchL’accord de Paris) is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. An agreement on the language of the treaty was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.

For more:

President Obama: The United States Formally Enters the Paris Agreement


Last December, more than 190 countries adopted the Paris Agreement, the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. In order for the agreement to take effect and enter into force, at least 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions need to formally join the Agreement.

Today, the United States and China deposited with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon their respective instruments to join the Paris Agreement, marking a significant contribution towards the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Today’s action by the United States and China to formally join is a significant step towards entry into force this year with countries representing around 40 percent of global emissions having now joined and more than 55 countries having already joined or publicly committed to work towards joining the agreement this year.

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IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, lobbying and education. IUCN’s mission is to “influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.”

Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates issues related to gender equalitypoverty alleviation and sustainable business in its projects. Unlike other international NGOs, IUCN does not itself aim to mobilize the public in support of nature conservation. It tries to influence the actions of governments, business and other stakeholders by providing information and advice, and through lobbying and partnerships. The organization is best known to the wider public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.

IUCN has a membership of over 1200 governmental and non-governmental organizations. Some 11,000 scientists and experts participate in the work of IUCN commissions on a voluntary basis. It employs approximately 1000 full-time staff in more than 60 countries. Its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland.

For more:


About the IUCN Congress

The Congress is the world’s largest environmental and nature conservation event.

The Congress is the highest decision-making body of IUCN and instrumental in setting the direction of conservation efforts.
The IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 will be the largest gathering of environmental policy-makers since the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals in New York – a major opportunity to start deciding how to put those deals into action.
6,000 delegates from around the globe, including representatives of 170 governments, leading scientists, NGOs, indigenous peoples and business will convene to take part in the biggest networking opportunity in the environmental sector.
The Congress will bring together top professionals from all regions and expertise to share knowledge on how our natural environment should be managed for the continued well-being of humanity and all life on Earth.

The Congress history

  • Since 1948, the IUCN World Conservation Congress has been held every 2-4 years in all corners of the world
  • Past IUCN Congresses have been important in building consensus that have led to CITES, CBD and Ramsar Convention.
  • IUCN Congresses have also identified issues ahead of their time e.g. warning about the impact of insecticides in the 1950s; discussing impacts of climate change in the 1960s; and advocating ‘sustainable development’ in the 1970s

The Congress theme – planet at the crossroads – frames the debate between meeting the immediate needs of human civilization and the long-term impacts doing so may have on the planet’s capacity to support life.

For more:


The Speakers

Some of the key speakers at Congress include:

International organisations and conventions

Complete List of Speaks at Congress:

Congress Schedule of Events:


IUCN Twitter
IUCN Facebook
IUCN YouTube


IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016
September 1 – 10, 2016
Neal S. Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i
Hawai’i Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i




U.S. National Park Service – 100th Anniversary

Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, they are proud to safeguard these nearly 400 places and to share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. But their work doesn’t stop there.

They are proud that tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for our help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close to home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun.

Taking care of the national parks and helping Americans take care of their communities is a job they love, and they need – and welcome – they help and support.

On August 25, 1916 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation creating the National Park Service. That marks 100 years of preserving, restoring, and sharing some of America’s most special places — from gorgeous, iconic landscapes like Yellowstone and Yosemite to the sites across the country that tell the stories of people and events that have shaped our history. Our parks are an essential part of our heritage and a source of great pride. And, most importantly, our parks belong to all of us.

That’s a lot to celebrate, so we’re starting now. Last month, President Obama kicked things off when he launched Every Kid in a Park — an initiative that will give every fourth-grade student and their families a free pass to National Parks and all other federal lands and waters for a full year.

And today, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation are continuing the celebration with the launch of #FindYourPark, a new campaign to encourage Americans to connect to our astounding network of parks and public lands — whether it’s for the first time or the hundredth.

First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush are spearheading this effort. As honorary co-chairs of the Centennial celebration, they’re challenging every American to get out and #FindYourPark.

You can find out more about the campaign at – a new website that features ways to find your park, share your park experiences and memories, and check out the stories others have shared. Already, celebrities like Bill Nye, Bella Thorne, Roselyn Sánchez, Terrence J, and Mary Lambert have posted their stories. And there’s more to come.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016
12:00PM EDT
National Archives Marks 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

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