The Arctic plays a crucial role in regulating the earth’s climate. Hence, the impact of climate change on the Arctic has serious consequences to high latitude ecosystems and societies. The EU-funded FACE-IT project hypothesises that the biodiversity of Arctic coastal zones is changing in line with the rates of cryosphere changes. It also theorises that these changes impact local communities, food production, livelihoods & other ecosystem services.

The overarching objective of FACE-IT is to enable adaptive co-management of social-ecological fjord systems in the Arctic in the face of rapid cryosphere and biodiversity changes. The project will identify ways to manage the impacts of climate change on the cryosphere and marine biodiversity, and the interaction with other drivers of change. FACE-IT will contribute to IPCC assessments as well as key Sustainable Development Goals. The concept of FACE-IT rests on a comparison of selected Arctic fjord systems at different stage of cryosphere loss in Greenland, Svalbard and Finnmark, Northern Norway. The underlying two-pronged hypothesis is that the biodiversity of Arctic coastal zones is changing in accordance with the rates of cryosphere changes, and that these changes affect local communities, food production, livelihoods and other ecosystem services. FACE-IT approaches European Arctic fjords as local social-ecological systems. It gathers a strong interdisciplinary team of internationally recognised experts from both natural and social sciences. FACE-IT is organized in eight interdisciplinary work packages focusing on:

  • the drivers of change (WP1),
  • their effects on biodiversity (WP2),
  • ecosystem functioning (WP3),
  • food provision and indigenous livelihoods (WP4),
  • nature-based tourism (WP5),
  • the co-production of knowledge to identify governance strategies for adaptive co-management (WP6),
  • public outreach and policy input (WP7),
  • project management (WP8).

It includes the participation of Arctic stakeholders to ensure that Indigenous and local knowledges, perceptions and concerns about ongoing changes are taken into account in defining innovative and adaptive co-management approaches towards a more sustainable future. In this way FACE-IT will deliver significant contributions towards the implementation of the new integrated EU policy for the Arctic.

FACE IT Conceptual diagram



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Kai Bischof 2

Prof. Dr. Kai Bischof 


University of Bremen

Training and Education Task Group


 Simon Jungblut 2

Simon Jungblut

University of Bremen

Communications and Dissemination Task Group



Robert Schlegel 2

Robert Schlegel

Institut de la Mer de Villefranche   

Data Management Task Group



annika e nilsson 2

Annika E. Nilsson

Nordland Research Institute

Policy Advice Task Group



Maiken Bjorkan 2

Maiken Bjørkan

Nordland Research Institute

Stakeholder Engagement Task Group