Thematic Work

News Articles

  • Oil skimmers at work. Image by NOAA Photo Library

    EPPR: Understanding Risk to the Arctic Environment

    The Arctic is changing rapidly. As it does, it may offer more access to new visitors and new residents arriving from the South. That could mean cruise vessels underway off the coast of Greenland, shipping vessels carrying fuel oil along with their cargoes, or invasive species brought northward as uninvited guests aboard ships. The Arctic Council is working to develop a comprehensive picture of such risks to the Arctic marine environment.

  • Some of the individuals behind the work: Bill Ernst (CA), Timo Seppala (FI), Niklas Johansson (SE), Jan Johanssen (NO), Lise-Kristin Svenning-Jensen (NO)

    Obsolete Pesticides in Northern Russia: New Report from ACAP

    The Russian Federation has an estimated 40,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides, and the Arctic Council Working Group ACAP has been engaged since 2001 on a project to improve management of those stockpiles. At the recent SAO meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon, ACAP’s final report for inventory and storage improvement phases, and the recommendations associated with the report, were approved.

  • New gavel. Photo: Arctic Council.

    Senior Arctic Officials Met in Whitehorse

    The Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials held their first meeting under Canada’s Arctic Council chairmanship in Whitehorse, Yukon, on October 21 to 23, 2013.

  • The walrus is an example of an ice-dependent species. (Photo: Pelo Panton / CC BY NC)

    Sea ice loss means changes for Arctic species and communities

    The Arctic Council Working Group, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) has released the “Life Linked to Ice: a guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change” report, which details changes in marine species and human communities as Arctic sea ice disappears, and makes recommendations to the Arctic Council. Changes in sea ice are affecting the very building blocks of life in the Arctic Ocean.

  • SAO Chair Patrick Porbey opens the meeting.

    Photos from the Whitehorse SAO Meeting

    High resolution photos from the Whitehorse Senior Arctic Officials' and Permanent Participants' meeting held 21-23 October can be found in the Arctic Council Flickr gallery. These photos are available for use through the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license. Please credit the Arctic Council Secretariat.

  • A view of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada where the upcoming SAO meeting will be held.

    Media Advisory: Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials Meeting to Take Place in Whitehorse

    Patrick Borbey, chair of Senior Arctic Officials, will hold a media availability on October 23 on the results of the plenary meeting of the Senior Arctic Officials. Media representatives are also invited to attend a public outreach event held by the Arctic Council and its biodiversity working group, CAFF, in partnership with the Government of Yukon and the Yukon Science Institute.

  • Photo: Kristin Nymark Heggland. "Ice Floating".

    IPCC report aligns with Arctic Council scientific work and action

    The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report - Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis - on September 27th, 2013. Many scientists from Arctic Council members contributed to this IPCC report, and the findings have informed the Council’s climate change related work, notably in guiding further scientific efforts and in adaptation actions important to Northern communities.

  • Arctic Council States welcome Minamata Convention on Mercury

    The Minamata Convention, a global agreement “to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds,” will be opened for signature in Minamata, Japan from October 9-11. The Arctic Council States and Permanent Participant organizations welcome the new agreement, recognizing that the Council’s scientific work has contributed greatly to global understanding of mercury pollution.

  • The main street of Whitehorse features stores and restaurants.

    Whitehorse, the Wilderness City

    The city of Whitehorse is located on the banks of the Yukon River in south-western Yukon, an hour and half from Kluane National Park, home of Mount Logan, Canada’s highest mountain. Whitehorse was an important river and railway hub for prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 and was named for the white “manes” of the nearby river rapids close to a former First Nations salmon fishing site.

  • The Lapporten mountain range in winter, cover photo from the Kiruna Declaration. (Photo: Karin Nylund)

    Illustrated versions of Kiruna documents available

    The Kiruna Declaration, The Arctic Council’s Vision for the Arctic, and the Kiruna Senior Arctic Officials’ Report to Ministers were approved by the Arctic Ministers in Kiruna 15 May 2013. The documents have now been formatted and illustrated with photos from the Arctic. These new versions are available for download from the website and in hard copy from the Arctic Council Secretariat.

  • "After the Eruption" - Inga Vitola - Creative Commons BY - http://flic.kr/p/dRFNfH

    The Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and Methane

    When the Arctic Council’s Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and Methane (TFBCM) met in Whitehorse, Yukon on 17-19 September, the discussion focused on the health and climate benefits that would follow from reduction of black carbon and methane emissions in the Arctic.

  • Bubbles / proudcanadianeh on Flickr / CC BY

    Arctic Council seeks to understand and reduce SLCFs such as methane

    recent paper in the journal Nature on the potential costs to the global economy of methane release in the Arctic garnered many headlines and ignited significant debate on this important environmental issue. Short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, ozone, and methane contribute to global warming. Sustained reductions in short-lived climate pollutants can help slow the rate of warming, globally and in sensitive regions such as the Arctic.

  • From left to right: Tom Barry, CAFF Secretariat, Miiti Lynge Minister for Housing, Nature and the Environment, Greenland, Inge Thaulow, Special Advisor, Greenlandic Government, Tobias Salathe, Ramsar Secretariat.

    Arctic Wetlands in a Time of Change

    Last week in Ilulissat, Greenland, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council provided an Arctic perspective to the Nordic-Baltic Wetlands Initiative (NorBalWet) conference, a regional initiative under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, to discuss northern wetlands and climate change.

  • September 2, 2013 - Oslo, Norway - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister for the Arctic Council, Minister of the Environment, and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, delivers remarks on Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship at the Gjøa Wing of the Fram Museum. / ЛЕОНА АГЛУККАК, МИНИСТР, ПРЕДСТАВЛЯЮЩИЙ КАНАДУ В АРКТИЧЕСКОМ СОВЕТЕ.

    Minister Aglukkaq Speaks on Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship

    Canada and Norway have a long history of collaboration on Arctic issues. In June 2013, a new wing of the Fram Museum opened to house the Gjøa, the ship used by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen to navigate the waterways known as the “Northwest Passage.” Amundsen became trapped in the ice off King William Island, in a remote area of Nunavut, now called Gjoa Haven.

  • Aerial view of Reykjavik where the PAME workshops were held. (Photo: Bryan Pocius/Flickr) / РЕЙКЬЯВИК,  МЕСТО ПРОВЕДЕНИЯ РАБОЧИХ СОВЕЩАНИЙ PAME, С ВЫСОТЫ ПТИЧЬЕГО ПОЛЁТА (ФОТО: БРАЙАН ПОCИУС)

    Three PAME workshops on the Arctic marine environment

    During the week of 10-14 June, 2013, the Arctic Council’s Working Group on Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) convened three workshops in Reykjavík, Iceland to advance work as directed by the Arctic Council Ministers in Kiruna and outlined in PAME‘s 2013-2015 workplan.  

  • Example of a storage facility for obsolete pesticides in the Russian Arctic. (Photo: ACAP) / ПРИМЕР ХРАНИЛИЩА ДЛЯ УСТАРЕВШИХ ПЕСТИЦИДОВ В РОССИЙСКОЙ АРКТИКЕ. (ФОТО: ACAP)

    New ACAP fact sheet on obsolete pesticides in the Arctic

    Obsolete pesticides pose a risk to human health and the environment locally and globally. Many pesticides are found in the Arctic as a result of long-range transport in the atmosphere and water. The Arctic environment and indigenous peoples are often at greater risk of exposure to contaminants because of changing climate conditions and local dietary habits. An ACAP fact sheet on obsolete pesticides was approved at the Kiruna Ministerial 15 May 2013.

  • The sea outside the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway (Photo: Linnea Nordström) / МОРЕ В РАЙОНЕ ЛОФОТЕНСКИХ ОСТРОВОВ, СЕВЕРНАЯ НОРВЕГИЯ (ФОТО: ЛИННЕА НОРДСТРЁМ)

    Arctic Ocean Review demonstrates Arctic Council stewardship efforts of the Arctic marine environment

    Arctic marine areas are vital components in the regulation of global climate and an important source of nutrition, income and cultural identity for Arctic peoples and communities. At the May 2013 Ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Arctic Council Ministers welcomed the Arctic Ocean Review (AOR) Final Report and approved its 24 recommendations.

  • HOLE in an iceberg near the village of KEKERTAT IN NORTHWEST GREENLAND (PHOTO: RAYMOND Moloney) / ОТВЕРСТИЕ В АЙСБЕРГЕ НЕДАЛЕКО ОТ ДЕРЕВНИ КЕКЕРТАТ НА СЕВЕРО-ЗАПАДЕ ГРЕНЛАНДИИ (ФОТО: РЭЙМОНД МОЛОНИ)

    Assessment of Arctic Ocean Acidification studies seawater pH

    The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) working group has released the first ever comprehensive assessment of Arctic Ocean acidification. The assessment was approved at the Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna 15 May 2013. In the Kiruna declaration Ministers welcomed the assessment and also requested that Arctic States continue to take action on mitigation and adaptation as well as continue to monitor and assess the state of Arctic Ocean acidification.

  • The coast of Bleik, Andøy in Northern Norway (Photo: Tommy Larsen) / ПОБЕРЕЖЬЕ В РАЙОНЕ СЕЛЕНИЯ БЛЕЙК, АННЁЙ, СЕВЕРНАЯ НОРВЕГИЯ (ФОТО: ТОММИ ЛАРСЕН)

    Educational film on ocean acidification in the Arctic

    The Arctic Ocean Acidification (AOA) assessment, approved at the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting 15 May 2013, is the latest report by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). The assessment reviews the current state of knowledge regarding ocean acidification from an Arctic perspective. Two short films have been prepared to present the content of the report in an accessible form.

  • Workshop participants engrossed in discussions during the workshop. / УЧАСТНИКИ СОВЕЩАНИЯ ПОГЛОЩЕНЫ ДИСКУССИЕЙ.

    Workshop on reducing Black Carbon emissions from residential wood combustion

    The Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency and the Finnish Environment Institute hosted an Arctic Contaminants Action program (ACAP) working group workshop in Oslo on 18th and 19th of June 2013. The workshop was organized as part of the midpoint status review of the ACAP project on reduction of black carbon emissions from residential wood combustion.