Clean and healthy oceans are a key priority for the Norwegian Government. Increasing valid concern about the threats posed by plastic waste has triggered ambitious plans for Norway to take a leading role in the international measures and regulations to combat plastic emissions in a global context. At the same time, scientific research is urgently needed to underpin and guide these measures with a sound knowledge base, and to monitor the effects of applied measures. For the Arctic, information on the extent of plastic pollution and its environmental impacts is fragmented and unconsolidated to date. At the same time, Arctic ecosystems are especially vulnerable to environmental perturbations, such as rising temperature, and thus serve as sentinels of global change. Any additional stressor might aggravate climate change effects faster in the Arctic than in more adaptable ecosystems elsewhere. Therefore, the Artic is a very important area to study the environmental and societal effects of anthropogenic changes, including plastic pollution. The new Fram Centre program ‘Plastic in the Arctic’ aims to promote high quality science to 1) establish the state of plastic pollution in the Arctic, 2) assess potential negative effects on arctic ecosystems in the Arctic, and 3) inform decision making towards measures that minimize negative plastic
impacts in the Arctic.
Full scientific program Plast_Arktis_vitenskapeligplan_2018-2023_publishedgram