On 14 February 2012 the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR) met at the Riksdag Building in Stockholm to discuss Arctic cooperation. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt gave a speech during the meeting in view of Sweden’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2011–2013.

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On 14–15 February, the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group will meet in Gällivare. The meeting is being organised under the Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which lasts until 2013. Around 30 representatives of the eight member states, indigenous peoples and observer states will take part.

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The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), the cornerstone program of the  Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group, received official endorsement from the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) in January 2012. CBMP now belongs to the GEO BON regional network Arctic-BON. Arctic-BON is one of five regional networks. The other four are AP BON (which includes ASEAN CB), F-BON (France/ECOSOPE), EBONE (Europe), and J-BON (Japan).

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The 6th of February is the Saami National Day which is celebrated in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, the four countries where the indigenous Saami people live today. The Saami National Day has been celebrated since 1993. The date, February 6, was chosen to commemorate the first Saami congress which was held in Trondheim, Norway in 1917.

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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.

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The Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is is arranging the first Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) meeting of the year at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm in March. The Chairmanship in cooperation with the museum hope to arouse interest in nature and natural sciences, the environment, conservation and biodiversity. Interests that chime well with the activities of the Arctic Council.

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