IPCAP PSG gathered for its first meeting on November 7 in Luleå, Sweden. Permanent participant organisations Aleut International Association (AIA), Russian Indigenous Peoples Organisation (RAIPON), Sami Council, Indigenous Peoples Secretariat (IPS), Arctic Council secretariat and country representatives from Finland, Norway, Sweden and USA participated in the meeting. The group discussed its Terms of Reference and mandate. The aim of the PSG is both to ensure the Indigenous Peoples’ concerns are taken into account in other Arctic Council projects and to facilitate development of projects addressing the exposure to and impacts of contaminants in the indigenous communities. The PSG will elect two co-chairs, one chosen by the PPs and one by the Arctic Member States.
This analysis will allow the PSG to define key problem areas where action would need to be taken.It was recognized that PPs would approach the indigenous communities in order to collect information on potential future work areas. The choice of work areas will be based on:
• the existing published information on indigenous peoples' contaminants with recommendations (AMAP 2004 and many other research projects)
• previous projects addressing the contaminant and indigenous communities that have been carried out in the Arctic.
The group also discussed the possible criteria for prioritising of future projects (adverse effects on health and environment, source characteristics, exposure pathways, inherent properties of contaminants and their occurrence profiles, communities' vulnerability, project transferability to other regions in the Arctic, technical feasibility).
The following Member States and Permanent Participants participated in the first meeting of IPCAP PSG:
Finland - Timo Seppälä; Henna Haapala
Norway - Hanne Aronsen
Sweden - Ann-Sofi Israelson
United States - David Guest
Aleut International Association - Victoria Gofman
RAIPON - Dmitry Berezhkov (IPCAP coordinator at the initial stage)
Sami Council - Gunn-Britt Retter; Ivan Matryokhin
Also present at the meeting
Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat - Erik Gant; Alyona Yefimenko
Arctic Council Secretariat - Lev Levit