Read an interview with Martin Forsius, the new Chair of AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme), an Arctic Council Working Group…


Along with the incoming U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, all of the Arctic Council Working Groups (ACAP, AMAP, CAFF, EPPRPAME and SDWG) have also welcomed new Chairs. The incoming Chair of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), an Arctic Council Working Group, is Martin Forsius, a Research Professor with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).

Q: What is your background, and how is it that you came to be the Chair of AMAP?

I have worked as a research professor at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and in various expert positions related to environmental research and policy. As for AMAP-related work, I have been a part of Finland’s national team for about fifteen years. I also served as a scientific lead for AMAP’s assessment “Acidifying Pollutants, Arctic Haze and Acidification in the Arctic” (2006). In addition, I have been involved in environmental working groups of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP).

Q: What is your favorite experience in the Arctic?

Both in my free time and when spending time at research stations in Northern Finland I have enjoyed the Arctic outdoor life. Maintaining and collecting research data at northern research stations is also an experience in itself – a wonderful way to combine work and enjoying the beautiful Arctic nature.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about your next two years as Chair of AMAP?

I am very much looking forward to the upcoming projects led by AMAP, and to working together with the U.S. Chairmanship to coordinate how AMAP can best contribute to the Chairmanship priorities.

One focus area will be to enhance cooperation between AMAP and LRTAP in cross-cutting issues like black carbon and in collecting data from various observation stations. As one of AMAP’s core functions is monitoring and getting reliable data both from national and international sources, this kind of collaboration is very interesting to us.

Q: Why did you want to take on this role in the first place?

It is a combination of my interest in the Arctic from both technical and scientific points of view, as well as a general interest due to my free-time activities of hiking and fishing. I have always appreciated AMAP’s work and its dynamic working culture. With its structure, the quality and quantity of reports produced by the group is quite impressive. When I was offered this position, I did not have to think twice whether I wanted to take on this challenging task as a chair.

One additional reason why this role as an Arctic Council Working Group Chair was of great interest to me is that the Arctic is undergoing rapid changes. The region is attracting more attention globally, and that makes it a very interesting time to be involved in the work of the Arctic Council.


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