The EPPR Working Group was established under the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) in 1991. The EPPR Working Group is one of six working groups of the Arctic Council, which was established in 1996 to foster international co-operation on environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic. EPPR reports to the Arctic Council and Ministers through Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs). The EPPR Working Group receives its direction from Ministerial meetings held every two years.
The Arctic Council has eight member states: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States of America. National representatives from organizations in these countries form the EPPR Working Group. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), the Saami Council, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), the Aleut International Association (AIA), the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC) and the Gwich’in Council International are permanent participants in the Council.
Every two years, a Chair is elected from one of the member countries to head the EPPR. The Chair’s country usually provides the EPPR with a Secretariat.
Working Group Meetings
The EPPR Working Group holds annual meetings to discuss projects, proposals, and guidance from the Ministers and Senior Arctic Officials. In addition, the group uses the meetings as a venue for sharing best practices on the infrastructure and procedures needed to prevent, prepare, and respond to emergencies in the Arctic. EPPR presently meets twice a year: once in a full annual meeting and once where heads of delegation are required but other participants can join at their option. Aiming for efficiency, the smaller semiannual meeting may be held in a convenient location and if possible back to back with another Arctic Council meeting. The record of decisions and a summary from the EPPR Meetings are available in the Meeting Reports.
The updated Strategic Plan of Action positions EPPR to respond more effectively to Ministerial Declarations and to better facilitate EPPR’s ongoing work and that of the other Work Groups. The Plan was discussed in detail at the March 2009 EPPR meeting, where Canada, Norway and Russia agreed to draft a revised Plan. The revised document was discussed at the November EPPR meeting, finalized shortly thereafter, and circulated to the Arctic Council for comment. The Strategic Plan of Action was distributed in its final version on March 5, 2010.
Per the Arctic Council Rules of Procedure, Working Groups may establish operating guidelines which must be submitted to SAOs for approval. The Senior Arctic Officials approved the current Operating Guidelines in April 2010, when EPPR members decided the work plan document would be separate from the strategic plan and instead be maintained and revised as part of the EPPR meeting reports. Please click on the words “operating guidelines” above to be taken to the document.
Photographs here are from past EPPR meetings, exercises and activities. The photos will not be used without expressed permission of the original creator or owner.