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.

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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.

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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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