News Articles

  • Overview photo of the town of Kiruna (Photo by Kiruna Municipality)

    The lively town of Kiruna will host Ministerial Meeting in May

    The Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting will be held 15 May in the small town in Swedish Lapland. The venue is special not only for its beautiful nature, but also for its exceptional future: in a few years the whole town will be moved to a new location a few kilometers away.

  • Photo caption: CAFF Biennial Meeting delegates had the opportunity to attend a performance at the Sakha Republic’s Dance Theater. Photo: Arctic Council

    Arctic Council working groups complete documents for Ministerial

    Last week three of the Arctic Council working groups held their last meetings before the Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna in May. The ACAP, CAFF, and PAME working groups made the final changes to the assessments and reports which will be presented to the Arctic Ministers. The working groups also completed reports over their activities 2011-2013 and their work plans for 2013-2015.

  • Ministers signing host country agreement

    Video from Host Country Agreement Signing

    View the video from the Host Country Agreement signing ceremony in Tromsø last week. In the video you can hear some of the speeches held by Espen Barth Eide, Carl Bildt and Leona Aglukkaq and also observe the signing of the Host Country Agreement between Norway and the new Director of the secretariat Magnús Jóhannesson. 

  • EMA conference participants in front of The National Library of Russia in St.Petersburg

    Electronic Memory of the Arctic: Digitized History and Culture

    The cultural heritage of the Arctic, the history of the exploration of the Arctic and the life of the region’s inhabitants are highly important. However, these can often be hard to restore, because the information resources are rare and incomplete, have different formats and languages and is spread across many countries.

  • Photo caption: From North America to Russia to Scandinavia, the Santa Claus figure is celebrated in different ways in the regions of the Arctic.

    Santa, our Arctic colleague

    As December 24 draws near children all over the world wait impatiently for Santa Claus to arrive with their gifts. In the Arctic countries Santa Claus goes by many different names and wears a variety of symbolic costumes. From North America to Russia to Scandinavia, the Santa Claus figure is celebrated in different ways in the regions of the Arctic.

  • Delegates seated at table for panel discussion

    Discussion on Arctic climate change at COP 18

    On December 6 in Doha, as the COP 18 climate change negotiations switched gears for the finale, the Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council arranged a side event on climate change in the Arctic. The event was held against the background of the rapid and ominous development lately in the Arctic, in particular the past summer's sea ice melt. The event was well attended and a strong panel including Martin Lidegaard, climate and energy

  • black and white photo of smokestacks billowing smoke

    New ACAP project on climate mitigation

    The ACAP Working Group has approved (November 2012) a new project on Reduction of Black Carbon Emissions from Residential Wood Combustion. The ACAP project is co-lead by Norway and Finland.

  • Icebergs floating on a misty sea

    2012 Arctic Report Cards describe dramatic changes in the Arctic

    The Arctic Report Cards produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are a source of reliable and brief information on the current state of the Arctic environment. The Arctic Council working groups CAFF and AMAP supported work on the 2012 Report Cards, which detail dramatic changes in the Arctic with record losses of sea ice and late spring snow. The Arctic Council, through the ...

  • Photo caption: Mr. Johannesson has extensive experience in management and environmental issues.

    Introduction to the Director of the Arctic Council Secretariat

    During the opening of the Senior Arctic Officials' meeting in Haparanda 14 November Magnús Jóhannesson was presented as the first Director of the new standing Secretariat of the Arctic Council in Tromsø, Norway. Mr. Jóhannesson is eager to begin work in February next year and believes that the Secretariat will be important to ensure continuity and coordination of the Arctic Council work.

  • Delegates around bonfire inside traditional Saami tent

    Arctic Resilience Report Workshop in Finnmark

    The three-day Arctic Resilience Report (ARR) workshop 29-31 October, 2012, held in Kautokeino (Guovdageaidnu in Sámi), in Northern Norway, focused on bringing the assessment of resilience closer to northern realities and also on providing an opportunity for in-depth discussion about the meeting of traditional, local and scientific knowledge in the context of resilience.

  • Photo: Haparanda meeting overview. The third SAO meeting of the Swedish Chairmanship took place at "Folkets Hus" in Haparanda in Northern Sweden 14-15 November.

    Outcomes of the Haparanda SAO Meeting

    The first director for the new standing Arctic Council Secretariat in Tromsø, Norway was selected and a statement on the situation with the Permanent Participant organization RAIPON was released. All major priorities of the Swedish chairmanship in the Arctic Council were negotiated.

  • Photo by Kari45 on A picture of the Torne River in wintertime seen from the Finnish side of the river.

    Haparanda SAO Meeting Next Week

    Next week 14-15 November more than 120 delegates from the Arctic Council Member States, Permanent Participants, and Working Groups will travel to Haparanda in Northern Sweden for the third Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting under the Swedish Chairmanship. Haparanda is located right on the border to Finland and demonstrates the special nature of cross-national exchange in northern Scandinavia.

  • Arctic environment ministers meeting will address arctic challenges.

    Preparations for the Arctic environment ministers meeting in Jukkasjärvi 5-6 February

    The Arctic is undergoing rapid change due to multiple pressures such as climate change and increased global resource use. When it comes to climate change, the effects appear more rapidly in the Arctic and provide us with insights into coming global effects.

  • Photo of the Torne River which separates the towns Haparanda and Tornio and also acts as the border between Sweden and Finland.

    Welcome to Haparanda

    On November 14-15 the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council will gather in Haparanda, Sweden, for this year’s last meeting. Haparanda is located just on the border to Finland, and is the twin town of the Finnish city Tornio where one of the hotels used for the meeting is located. Futhermore, Haparanda is home to a Sauna museum and the world’s northernmost IKEA store. A bus tour of the city for the meeting participants is planned in

  • Photo of Klavs Holm, taken by Lars Grunwald.

    SAO Interview: Klavs Holm from the Kingdom of Denmark

    Klavs A. Holm was appointed as Arctic Ambassador and Senior Arctic Official (SAO) for the Kingdom of Denmark in January of 2012. During his career Ambassador Holm has been posted in different locations around the world, for example at the Royal Danish Embassy in Paris and London. He is committed to ensuring that the Arctic Council contributes to sustainable development for Arctic inhabitants.

  • SDWG Open Dialogue and Formal Meeting in Reykjavik

    The last Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) meeting was held at the Vikin Maritime Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland 17-19 September. The meeting began with an Informal Open Business Dialogue 17 September with 25 representatives from a wide range of industry sectors. The Informal Open Business Dialogue provided a good opportunity for delegates to hear about the challenges and opportunities, in particular of how business can contribute to

  • Group photo of participants. Photo: Arctic Council

    ACAP Working Group Met in Copenhagen

    The Arctic Contaminants Action Program working group (ACAP) met in Danish Environment Protection Agency premises in Copenhagen 13-14 September. The meeting was led by Jaakko Henttonen, ACAP Chair. Representatives from six Arctic states, as well as the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat and Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), took part in the meeting. Progress was made and many items agreed upon.

  • Coast guard ship

    First Live Arctic Search and Rescue Exercise - SAREX 2012

    The first live search and rescue exercise among the 8 Arctic states, “SAREX 2012”, took place 10-14 September in stormy weather and high seas in a remote area along Greenland’s east coast. The exercise involved personnel, authorities, airplanes, helicopters and ships from Canada, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and the United States. It is notable that all the ships, airplanes etc. were regional units normally

  • Photo of the audience, by Kári Fannar Lárusson/CAFF.

    Active audience at Arctic Council breakfast seminar

    Around 45 people attended the Arctic Council breakfast seminar on September 6 at the 10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region in Akureyri, Iceland. The audience consisted of Parliamentarians from the Arctic region, Members of Parliament, senators, as well as some guests from outside the Arctic region.

  • Map showing minimum ice level

    Record minimum of ice in the Arctic

    On August 26 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) informed users on their website that a new record minimum of Arctic sea ice extent had been set. The ice-cover in the Arctic continues to decrease each summer until the end of September when the trend turns and the ice begins to increase again.