News Articles

  • Wildfires don’t respect territorial boundary lines

    The Arctic is experiencing its worst wildfire season on record, affecting the environment and communities in the circumpolar North and beyond. Amongst the most affected are people in the Gwich’in territories in Alaska. They face a future of intensified wildfire seasons – and call upon the Arctic States to collaborate on both mitigation and emergency response measures. Edward Alexander is a member of the Gwich’in Council International (GCI),

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  • Interview with Magnús Jóhannesson, the Special Coordinator on Plastics

    Magnús Jóhannesson is the Council’s designated special coordinator on plastics, marine litter. In this interview, the former Director of the Arctic Council Secretariat speaks about the plastics issue in the Arctic, the Arctic Council’s efforts to tackle the issue and his new role within the Icelandic Chairmanship team.

  • New Observer: The International Maritime Organization

    The International Maritime Organization (IMO) was granted Arctic Council Observer status at the 11th Ministerial meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland, in May 2019. IMO is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for safety and security of shipping and prevention of marine pollution by ships. Its Observer status, the organization states, “will allow IMO to build on the existing cooperation with the Arctic Council and to engage in close

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  • Interview with CAFF Chair Mark Marissink

    Since May 2019, Mark Marissink chairs the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group (CAFF). He is the deputy director at the department for Environmental Analysis at the Swedish Environment Protection Agency and has been involved in the work of CAFF for several years. Learn more about Mark Marissink’s background and his ambitions as the Working Group’s new Chair.

  • Interview with SDWG Chair Stefán Skjaldarson

    Stefán Skjaldarson is the new Chair of the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG). Growing up in one of the most remote parts of northeast Iceland, he got to know the scarcities of an Arctic childhood until education and eventually his work in the Foreign Service of Iceland drew him out into the world. Chairing SDWG is a return to the Arctic Council for Stefán Skjaldarson. He was involved in the Rovaniemi Process – a forerunner of

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  • First meeting during Iceland's Arctic Council Chairmanship

    On 18-19 June 2019, Arctic Council delegates gathered in Reykjanesbær, Iceland, for the first Senior Arctic Officials’ executive meeting during the Chairmanship of Iceland (2019-2021). Amongst other things, the Senior Arctic Officials, joined by the Permanent Participants and representatives of the Council’s Working Groups, discussed initiatives falling under Iceland’s priority themes.

  • Towards an international symposium on plastics in the Arctic

    In April 2020, the Icelandic government and the Nordic Council of Ministers will host an International Symposium on the Threat of Plastics to the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Marine Environment. The aim of the symposium is to gather the best available knowledge on plastics in the Arctic and to find solutions for tackling the issue. Registration is already possible and the call for abstracts will open on 1 July 2019.

  • Interview with ACAP Chair Inger Johanne Wiese

    Inger Johanne Wiese is the new Chair of the Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP). She works as senior advisor at the Ministry of Climate and Environment Norway in the Department for National Marine Affairs and Pollution Control. In this brief interview, she talks about her background, ACAP’s mandate and projects we should keep an eye on over the next two years.

  • Interview with EPPR Chair Peter Holst-Andersen

    Peter Holst-Andersen is the Chair of the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group. He is the only Working Group Chair remaining in his position after Iceland has assumed the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. We revisited some statements he made as he first became EPPR Chair (...

  • Interview with AMAP Chair Anders Turesson

    Anders Turesson is the new Chair of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). He works at the Swedish Ministry of Environment. While chairing the Arctic Council Working Group, he will also continue to work on climate change related issue back in Stockholm. Get to know Anders and learn more about his interests in and ambitions for AMAP.

  • Arctic Council Ministers meet, pass Chairmanship from Finland to Iceland, Arctic States conclude Arctic Council Ministerial meeting by signing a joint statement

    At the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland, Ministers of the eight Arctic States, leaders from the six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations and the Chairs of the six Working Groups of the Arctic Council met to mark the passing of the Chairmanship from Finland to Iceland. In the Rovaniemi Joint Ministerial Statement, the Arctic States reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to maintain the Arctic as a region of

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  • The Rovaniemi Joint Ministerial Statement

    Read the Rovaniemi Joint Ministerial Statement signed by all eight Foreign Ministers at the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland

  • The Chair's Statement from the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Rovaniemi

    Read the Chair's statement from 11th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland, presented by Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini. 

  • Watch the Ministerial meeting live

    On May 7 2019 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm (GMT+3) Finland will host the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland.

    Ministers from the eight Arctic States will convene to review and approve work completed under the two-year Finnish Chairmanship to improve sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. The Arctic

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  • The Arctic Council signs Memorandum of Understanding with Arctic Economic Council

    The Arctic Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Arctic Economic Council in Rovaniemi, Finland, today. The aim of the MoU is to provide a framework for cooperation and to facilitate collaboration between the Arctic Council and the Arctic Economic Council. The MoU was signed by Nina Buvang Vaaja, Director of the Arctic Council Secretariat, and Anu Fredrikson, Director of the Arctic Economic Council Secretariat.

  • The common solutions explored

    A preview on the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting and its deliverables

  • Arctic Council accepts IAIA Global Award

    The Arctic Council is the recipient of the 2019 Global Award of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). Today, representatives of the Finnish Ministry of Environment accepted the prize on behalf of the Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council at IAIA’s  39th Annual Conference in Brisbane, Australia.

  • We got the recognition we called for – An interview with Gunn-Britt Retter

    Gunn-Britt Retter is the Head of the Arctic and Environment Unit of the Saami Council – and one of the delegates that has attended most Ministerial meetings. In this interview, Gunn-Britt speaks about the role of Permanent Participants at Ministerial meetings and beyond, reflects on changes she has seen over the years, and her hopes for an equal share of involvement for all Permanent Participants.

  • The final stretch

    Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials speaks about the preparations for the Ministerial meeting in Rovaniemi, which will conclude the Finnish Chairmanship in May. He also goes into some of the common solutions the Arctic Council has explored during Finland’s two-year term.

  • diagram of the Arctic Council

    The 11th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting

    On May 7, Finland will host the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi. Minister-level representatives from the eight Arctic States will convene to review and approve work completed under the two-year Finnish Chairmanship to improve sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.