The first draft of the Arctic Council communication strategy will soon be sent to a contact group for evaluation.The draft of the communication strategy is based on groundwork done by the Arctic Council Communication and Outreach group which was active during the period 2010-2011. The group was lead by Giles Norman from Canada who did extensive surveys with representatives from the member states, permanent participants, and working groups to evaluate the communication needs of the Arctic Council. This work resulted in the Arctic Council Communications and Outreach Guidelines which were approved in 2011.

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The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) recently published a detailed scientific assessment on mercury in the Arctic, updating previous assessments made in 1998 and 2004.

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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.”

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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.

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Industrial development of the Arctic has been accompanied by waste accumulation, especially in the vicinity of indigenous villages. This represents a growing threat to safety and health of the Arctic people who – due to traditional living conditions – are exposed to higher levels of contamination in the air, water, soil and their food supply.

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The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) was endorsed by the Arctic Council in 2006. The aims of the ABA are to provide a much needed description of the current state of the Arctic’s ecosystems and biodiversity, create a baseline for use in global and regional assessments of biodiversity, and provide a basis to inform and guide future Arctic Council work.

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