• 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.

  • Photo from the meeting, by Linnea Nordström

    Deputy Ministers’ Meeting: Outcomes

    The first Deputy Ministers’ Meeting under the Swedish Chairmanship was held in Stockholm on Tuesday 15 May. The meeting, hosted by State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Frank Belfrage, was met with great approval.

  • Photo by joeriksson on Flickr, entrance to Grand Hotel in Stockholm.

    Deputy Ministers' Meeting in Stockholm

    The Deputy Ministers' Meeting under the Swedish Chairmanship takes place next week on Tuesday 15 May. The venue is the "Spegelsalen" of the Grand Hotel in downtown Stockholm. Approximately 100 delegates are expected to attend.

  • Photo: From left to right: Robert Blaauw, Shell International , Joshua Reichert, Pew Environment Group , Lisa Speer, Natural Resource Defense Council, Anton Vasiliev, Russian SAO, Gustaf Lind, SAO Chair

    The Arctic - A beacon of hope

    On February 23 SAO Chair Gustaf Lind attended the World Oceans Summit in Singapore to speak on the panel titled The Arctic - beacon of hope? Russian SAO Anton Vasiliev also participated in the panel.

  • Photo: Arctic parliamentarians meet in Stockholm. At the table, from left: Morten Höglund, Norwegian parliamentarian and Chair of SCPAR, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Gustaf Lind, Sweden’s Arctic Ambassador.

    SCPAR meeting in Stockholm on February 14 2012

    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.

  • Photo by Arctic Council. Gällivare train station taken in February 2012.

    Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group to meet in Gällivare

    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.

  • Photo: The Swedish Museum of Natural History is a major research institute which houses collections containing specimens collected in the 18th century and onwards. Photo by Mikael Axelsson.

    SAO meeting at Swedish Museum of Natural History

    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.

  • SDWG Chair Mikael Anzén

    Arctic environment requires responsible corporate practices

    As the Arctic becomes an interesting place for business actors to conduct operations, the strains on this sensitive region are increasing. The Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is organizing a workshop in Stockholm on 26–27 January to determine whether the OECD guidelines on corporate social responsibility (CSR) are adequate for the Arctic region.

  • COP 17 logo, globe with tree growing out of it

    Arctic States call for measures to reduce emissions

    The Arctic States call for powerful measures to reduce emissions: “The fight against climate change is an imperative common challenge for the international community and requires immediate global measures. To highlight the effects of global warming in the Arctic, Sweden, which holds the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, will today host a seminar in the margins of the climate conference.”

  • Photo: JohnConnell on Flickr.com, Durban International Convention Centre.

    Arctic – A Messenger for Global Change

    The Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, along with the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and Greenland, will present a side event on current environmental trends in the Arctic during the COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Durban, South Africa.

  • Picture: About 160 people attended the SAO meeting in Luleå

    Successful Meeting in Luleå

    The first SAO meeting organized under the Swedish Chairmanship was a success. Approximately 160 people attended the meeting which took place at the Luleå Technical University 8-9 November. Meeting participants were welcomed on Tuesday morning by a personal video greeting from Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. Arctic Council Chair Gustaf Lind then opened the meeting with general information about the goals and working procedures for the Swedish Chairmanship period.

  • Photo by NEXTORS/flickr (Creative Commons) "Road from Luleå to Bensbyn"

    Next stop: Luleå

    The Swedish Chairmanship 2011-2013 

    From 12 May 2011 Sweden is chairing the Arctic Council. In its chairmanship programme, Sweden intends to focus on several issues such as prevention of oil emissions, climate change, resilience, biodiversity and environmental protection.

    Concerning the peoples in the Arctic, Sweden intends to listen to the views of the Arctic indigenous peoples, focus on languages and food safety, among others.

  • Picture of Andreas von Uexküll (center) and Paola Albornoz from the Swedish delegation discuss with Finland's Arctic Ambassador Hannu Halinen. Photo: Joakim Larsson

    Arctic negotiations under way

    A cool Arctic sun shone down on the Katuaq Cultural Centre in Greenland’s capital as talks between the countries of the Arctic Council got under way on Monday. 

  • Photo of Swedish SAO Chair Gustaf Lind.

    Sweden on work in the Arctic: “The Council must be able to react”

    Sweden stands ready to take over the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council when the meeting of foreign ministers concludes in Nuuk, Greenland, this week. The five Nordic countries, together with the United States, Russia, Canada and representatives of indigenous peoples will discuss momentous changes in the climate and in the life of those who live in the region – and what to do if an environmental disaster occurs in the Arctic.