The Council's activities are conducted in six working groups. The working groups are composed of:

  • representatives at expert level from sectoral ministries,
  • government agencies and
  • researchers.

Their work covers a broad field of subjects, from climate change to emergency response.

There are six Working Groups of the Arctic Council:

Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP)

Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)

Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)

Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR)

Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME)

Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)

Each Working Group:

  • has a specific mandate under which it operates
  • has a Chair
  • has and Management Board or Steering Committee, and
  • is supported by a Secretariat.

Working Group Management Boards are typically comprised of:

  • representatives of national governmental agencies of the Arctic Council Member States, connected to the mandates of the Working Groups; and
  • representatives of the Permanent Participants.

Observer States and Observer Organizations are likely to attend Working Group meetings and participate in specific projects. In addition, Working Groups regularly have invited guests, or experts attending their meetings.

It is the responsibility of the Working Groups to execute the programs and projects mandated by the Arctic Council Ministers. These mandates are stated in the Ministerial Declarations, the official documents that result from Ministerial Meetings.

Principle of Consensus:

All decisions of the Arctic Council and its subsidiary bodies are by consensus of the eight Arctic Member States.