The Arctic remains one of the most pristine natural environments in the world. AECO’s biosecurity guidelines aim to minimize the risk of future introductions of non-native species to the Arctic.
Be a responsible visitor
One of the main ways non-native species can spread to the Arctic is by our activities there. Seeds, microorganisms, and even insects can hitchhike to the Arctic on footwear, attached to clothing, or in bags that have been used in the outdoors previously. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your visit won’t lead to non-native species being introduced to the Arctic.
Before leaving home
Examine and clean all clothing, including pockets, seams, Velcro fasteners, and footwear soles for dirt and organic material. Use a vacuum cleaner, brushes, and water where necessary to ensure all seeds and dirt have been removed. This is especially important if you have used your clothing and equipment previously in parklands or rural settings, or other polar regions.
Be biosecurity aware:
- Follow the biosecurity procedures on your expedition. This is especially important if you are moving between distinct geographic regions (e.g. between eastern and western Svalbard, Svalbard and Greenland or Greenland and Canada) but also when moving between distinct landing sites.
- Watch your step. If you notice organic matter on boots, clothing or gear, make sure to clean it off before leaving a site and use the disinfectant wash between visits. Leave disinfectant to dry between landings.
- Spread the word. Share this information with others and help protect the Arctic environment.
Non-native species – a potential threat to the Arctic environment
Non-native species represent a threat to biodiversity globally as they can cause serious negative impacts to the natural environment. These are species that are introduced to regions where they are not normally found as a result of human activity. Increasing visitation in the Arctic means a greater chance of more non-native species introductions.