Biodiversity in the Polar Regions - International Polar Year (IPY) Educational Posters
Life in the Arctic and Antarctic is unique. There are relatively few species in the polar regions compared to the lower latitudes. The species that do exist are often very abundant and uniquely adapted to the…
Life in the Arctic and Antarctic is unique. There are relatively few species in the polar regions compared to the lower latitudes. The species that do exist are often very abundant and uniquely adapted to the harsh polar environment. Plants and animals in the polar regions are usually less specialized than species elsewhere. In the past, this has allowed them to adapt to changing ecological conditions. Although biodiversity has always changed throughout history, currently species are being lost at a very fast and increasing rate, mainly due to human activities. The Arctic and Antarctic contain the world’s largest areas of undisturbed wilderness. However, localized activities such as fishing, mining, oil & gas exploration, and tourism are all increasing. On a global scale, polar biodiversity is threatened by climate change, pollutants arriving from distant places, and invasions of alien species from other regions. People are beginning to understand that humans depend upon biodiversity. As part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, countries have agreed to reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss by the year 2010. IPY projects such as the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme are trying to improve monitoring and knowledge of polar biodiversity. This poster is a part of a set of five posters for the International Polar Year, IPY 2007-2009. As editorial objectives, we - the editorial staff - have tried to address the questions: Why, and how, are the Polar Regions and polar research important to all people on Earth? Our goals has been that these should be a broad sample of polar issues, and that they would work as a "textbook" on a wall. High-school age students has been identified as the main target group. Each poster stands on its own but is recognizable as part of the series through the common design template. The lifespan of these products is not limited to the IPY period (March 2007 - March 2009) and the ambition is that these will be useful beyond this period. The Biodiversity in the Polar Regions poster gives background and overview information the unique environments of the two poles - and the issues they are facing. This poster has been prepared with the intent for printing by any interested party. The poster can be downloaded for free and unrestricted. Please see http://www.grida.no/polar/ipy/2844.aspx for more information.