US failing to meet Arctic protection goals | Stories

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Since 2017, the US government has attempted to jump-start fossil fuel exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. And even though the courts have effectively frozen such plans, the US government hasn’t given any indication that it will stop efforts to auction off areas offshore with the hopes of industry drilling more.

On paper, the US has a strategy for the Arctic but there is no mention of biodiversity-related objectives. Likewise, resilience and adaptation to climate change are also missing, directly impacting the security of indigenous and local communities in America’s Arctic.

Ultimately researchers had limited access to data and experts from the US government, which makes grading national efforts more difficult. Some government employees and agencies declined to share information due to current politics around the role of government in science and vice versa. The government shutdown in early January 2019 also likely impacted participation.

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