• Arctic Resilience Assessment

    Arctic Resilience Report launched

    The Arctic Resilience Report, launched last Friday, 25 November, identifies 19 tipping points that can and have occurred in Arctic marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems.

  • 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.

  • Reindeer and power plant (Photo:Bruce Forbes) / ОЛЕНИ И ЭЛЕКТРОСТАНЦИЯ (ФОТО: БРЮС ФОРБС)

    Reporting on the Resilience of Arctic Ecosystems

    The Arctic Resilience Interim Report released on 15 May, finds that rapid – even abrupt – changes are occurring on multiple fronts across the Arctic, raising the risk of crossing thresholds that would cause irreversible changes to ecosystems, environmental processes, and societies. The report marks the half-way point in the project that aims to identify critical thresholds and sources of resilience in the face of environmental and social pressures.

  • Leona Aglukkaq, Canadian Minister for the Arctic Council, signs the Kiruna declaration.

    Kiruna Ministerial Meeting Documents

    During the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting 15 May Arctic Ministers signed the Kiruna Declaration, Vision for the Arctic, Senior Arctic Officials Report to Ministers, and an Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. In addition, several scientific assessments and reports by the working groups, task forces, and expert groups of the Arctic Council were also approved.

  • The meeting room in Kiruna City Hall before the Ministerial Meeting began.

    Photos from the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting

    Photos from the Ministerial Meeting 15 May are available for non-commercial use from the Arctic Council Secretariat Flickr account, as well as the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs photo archive. Credit must be given in order to use the photos.

  • Leona Aglukkaq, Canadian Minister for the Arctic Council, signs the Kiruna declaration.

    Press Release 15 May: Arctic Council presents vision for future cooperation in the Arctic

    Ministers from the eight Arctic states and representatives of the Arctic Indigenous Peoples met today in Kiruna at the conclusion of Sweden’s two-year Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

  • The 1st place winner in the category Arctic People "The last shaman of Wrangler Island" by Anastasiya Ilina

    Winners of the Arctic Council Photography Contest

    The winners of the Arctic Council Photography Contest will be displayed in Kiruna 14 and 15 May. During March the Arctic Council Secretariat invited enthusiastic hobby photographers who live, work or visit the Arctic to share their photos that illustrate all aspects of life in the different regions of the Arctic. The photos are also displayed 14 May in a slideshow on the Arctic Council homepage.

  • Photo of SAO Chair Gustaf Lind.

    Monday webcast of Pre-Kiruna press briefing with SAO Chair Gustaf Lind

    Media are invited to watch the press briefing with the Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, Ambassador Gustaf Lind, 6 May at 14.00 Stockholm time. Mr. Lind will highlight the main substance for the Kiruna meeting. The event will be web-streamed from the Swedish Government’s website. Note, the video will be broadcast live and recorded for later viewing. Media who are not able to participate in person are welcome to ask their questions via Twitter.

  • The town of Kiruna from the air. (Photo by LKAB)

    Press Release: Welcome to the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting

    On 15 May 2013 the Arctic Council will hold its biennial Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna in the north of Sweden. Media are invited to a web cast press briefing with the Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials on 6 May.

  • Visit some huskies in Kiruna! (Photo: Sarah Cox)

    A little break in-between: Experience ice sculpting and dog sledding in Kiruna!

    Kiruna offers a perfect setting for a relaxing break between the hectic days around the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. If you are a fan of unique nature, speed and challenges, you might like to climb up to the Luossa fell or race through the woods in a dogsled. Kiruna Delegates should book their excursions now since the first booking deadline is Friday 3 May.

  • Photo caption: SAO Chair Gustaf Lind speaking during the conference on sustainable business in the Arctic.

    Conference on Sustainable Business in the Arctic

    On Thursday April 19 the Swedish Chairmanship hosted a Conference on Sustainable Business in the Arctic in Stockholm. Over 50 participants representing government, industry, Indigenous Peoples, research institutions, and organizations were present.

  • The Kiruna City Hall where the Ministerial  Meeting will be held 15 May. (Photo: arvidr/Flickr.com)

    Press Accreditation for Kiruna Ministerial Meeting Closed

    14-15 May the Arctic Council will hold its biennial Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna in northern Sweden. Press accreditation for the meeting is now closed. It will also be possible to follow the meeting via webcast on the Arctic Council homepage. More details will be available soon.

  • Overview photo of the town of Kiruna (Photo by Kiruna Municipality)

    The lively town of Kiruna will host Ministerial Meeting in May

    The Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting will be held 15 May in the small town in Swedish Lapland. The venue is special not only for its beautiful nature, but also for its exceptional future: in a few years the whole town will be moved to a new location a few kilometers away.

  • Photo caption: Carl Bildt, Espen Barth Eide, Leona Aglukkaq, and Magnús Jóhannesson at the press conference following the signing of the Host Country Agreement. Photo by Arctic Council

    Arctic Council Secretariat in Tromsø opened by Arctic Ministers

    Arctic Council Ministers played a prominent role at this year's policy section of the Arctic Frontiers conference held in Tromsø, Norway. Hot topics included climate change and resource extraction in the Arctic. Later in the day the Standing Arctic Council Secretariat was formally opened with a ceremony held at the Fram Centre, a center for Norwegian polar research. During his keynote presentation Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide spoke about the increasing importance of the Arctic Council as global interest in the region increases. He also welcomed the Standing Arctic Council Secretariat to Tromsø and spoke about the important role the Secretariat will play in strengthening the activities of the Council.

  • Delegates seated at table for panel discussion

    Discussion on Arctic climate change at COP 18

    On December 6 in Doha, as the COP 18 climate change negotiations switched gears for the finale, the Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council arranged a side event on climate change in the Arctic. The event was held against the background of the rapid and ominous development lately in the Arctic, in particular the past summer's sea ice melt. The event was well attended and a strong panel including Martin Lidegaard, climate and energy minister of Denmark, Jens Fredriksen, Minister for housing, infrastructure and transport from Greenland, and Lena Ek, Swedish Minister for the Environment, contributed to a lively discussion.

  • Photo: Haparanda meeting overview. The third SAO meeting of the Swedish Chairmanship took place at "Folkets Hus" in Haparanda in Northern Sweden 14-15 November.

    Outcomes of the Haparanda SAO Meeting

    The first director for the new standing Arctic Council Secretariat in Tromsø, Norway was selected and a statement on the situation with the Permanent Participant organization RAIPON was released. All major priorities of the Swedish chairmanship in the Arctic Council were negotiated.

  • Photo by Kari45 on Flickr.com. A picture of the Torne River in wintertime seen from the Finnish side of the river.

    Haparanda SAO Meeting Next Week

    Next week 14-15 November more than 120 delegates from the Arctic Council Member States, Permanent Participants, and Working Groups will travel to Haparanda in Northern Sweden for the third Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting under the Swedish Chairmanship. Haparanda is located right on the border to Finland and demonstrates the special nature of cross-national exchange in northern Scandinavia.

  • Arctic environment ministers meeting will address arctic challenges.

    Preparations for the Arctic environment ministers meeting in Jukkasjärvi 5-6 February

    The Arctic is undergoing rapid change due to multiple pressures such as climate change and increased global resource use. When it comes to climate change, the effects appear more rapidly in the Arctic and provide us with insights into coming global effects.

  • Photo of the Torne River which separates the towns Haparanda and Tornio and also acts as the border between Sweden and Finland.

    Welcome to Haparanda

    On November 14-15 the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council will gather in Haparanda, Sweden, for this year’s last meeting. Haparanda is located just on the border to Finland, and is the twin town of the Finnish city Tornio where one of the hotels used for the meeting is located. Futhermore, Haparanda is home to a Sauna museum and the world’s northernmost IKEA store. A bus tour of the city for the meeting participants is planned in the afternoon of November 13. This will surely be both an exciting and beautiful ride.

  • Icebreaker ship Oden navigating icy waters

    “The ice used to be hard, now it crumbles into little pieces”

    Reports appear in the media about the sea ice in the Arctic on a daily basis, and in September coverage is expected to reach an all-time low. American researchers are already warning that Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest level since satellite records began in 1979. How is this manifesting itself? We asked Richard Gyllencreutz, who is currently on a research expedition aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden in the Arctic.