The Permanent Participant (PP) organizations are a unique feature of the Arctic Council. They give indigenous peoples the opportunity to make valuable contributions to the Arctic Council's activities. The PPs have full consultation rights in connection with the Council’s negotiations and decisions. Delegates from the PP organizations attend the Arctic Council meetings and sit at the table together with the Member state and Working group and task force delegates.

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The Protection of Arctic Marine Environments (PAME) working group held a Health Safety and Environmental Management Systems (HSEMS) Workshop in Keflavik, Iceland 10-12 June. The agenda of the workshop was coordinated with the related EPPR Recommended Practices for Prevention oil Pollution (RP3) workshop also held in Keflavik 11-12 June to facilitate the opportunity for oil and gas experts to attend and contribute to both workshops.

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Results of a comprehensive assessment of changes in the Arctic Cryosphere – Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) show rapid changes in major components of the Arctic Cryosphere, i.e. areas where water is frozen for at least part of the year. Information from the SWIPA assessment can be found in an extensive scientific report, several summaries and a series of short films.

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The increased focus on potential exploration of Arctic offshore oil and gas and shipping this summer is made evident by a busy month of June for the Emergency Prevention Preparedness and Response working group (EPPR). On 5-7 June 2012, a workshop was held in Kirkenes, Arctic Norway, where the participants had the opportunity to observe the annual Russian - Norwegian Exercise Barents.

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The U.S. Government has decided to allocate up to 5 million USD to the Arctic Council's environmental projects. The funds will be designated to the Arctic Council's Project Support Instrument (PSI), which is administered by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO). The deposit of the contributions from the United States and Russia will make the fund operational.

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