New Arctic Vegetation Guidelines

May 31st, 2019

Photo by Tommy Prestø

New guidelines have been published outlining information on the variety of Arctic flora and the correct methods of protecting plant life when out in the field, both for the individual, and the group leader. 

The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) has released informative guidelines that give an introduction to the vegetation that can be found in Arctic regions. They describe how there is a surprisingly broad range of species to be found at these northern latitudes and how these plants have special adaptations enabling them to survive in low temperatures and with limited light.  

 AECO is encouraging individuals and guides to think carefully about where they are walking, especially when there are no visible paths. This can be especially vital when cruise ships are involved in shore landings with many passengers. 

Some tips include;  

  • When the number of visitors is high and a track is available, walking should be organized to prevent parallel tracks. 
  • When there are no signs of trampling or disturbance, scattered walking is a good strategy to prevent paths in robust vegetated areas with low number of visitors. 

These guidelines which have been funded by Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, are part of a series created by AECO to serve as educational material not only for those involved in the expedition cruise industry, but for anyone visiting the Arctic.  


Resources for download

Vegetation Guidelines Press release