Thematic Work

News Articles

  • Oil skimmers at work, image by NOAA Photo Library

    Arctic Council works to prevent Arctic marine oil pollution

    The Task Force on Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Prevention (TFOPP) was established at the Kiruna Ministerial Meeting in May, 2013 to explore how the Arctic Council can help to advance oil pollution prevention in the Arctic. Although much work has been done in identifying best practices, there is important and challenging work to be done in identifying how, in practical terms, Arctic States can work towards this goal.

  • Front cover to the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment.

    Arctic Biodiversity Assessment now available

    At the May 2013 Ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, the Arctic Council released the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) – a wide-ranging and detailed scientific report summarizing the present status and possible future trends for Arctic flora and fauna. This is the first time such an analysis has been made for the Arctic. The three books arising from the ABA are now available for public order through the ABA online store.

  • Lithuanians drying cod in Lofoten/ Photo: Mia Bennett

    Arctic Economic Council

    The Arctic Council recognizes the central role of business in the sustainable development of the Arctic. During Canada’s Chairmanship (2013-15), the Arctic states and indigenous permanent participant organizations are facilitating the creation of a circumpolar business forum - the Arctic Economic Council.

  • Ice floe with soot. Image: Ben Husmann.

    Addressing Black Carbon & Methane in the Arctic

    In the Arctic Council’s Kiruna Declaration, signed in May 2013, Ministers from the eight Arctic Council states recognized that “reduction of short-lived climate forcers [SLCFs] could slow Arctic and global climate change, and have positive effects on health.” The Arctic Council’s Task Force on Black Carbon & Methane met on 12-13 December in Stockholm to advance work in this area.

  • Image: Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center

    Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic

    The rapidly-changing Arctic presents a challenge to those working on adaptation actions at the local, regional or global level. The inherent uncertainty of long-range climate forecasts makes it important to provide Arctic communities with a broad suite of tools to help them respond to a changing ecological and social environment.

  • The SCTF met at the natural history museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Image by Joongi Kim, CC BY-SA

    Scientific Cooperation: Making a good thing even better

    The Arctic Council’s Scientific Cooperation Task Force, established by the Kiruna Declaration of May, 2013, had its first meeting in Stockholm, Sweden on 10-11 December. The workshop was primarily a scoping session, exploring the best path forward for the Task Force.

  • The Arctic is home to many entrepreneurs and small businesses. Image by Jens Rost

    Circumpolar Business Forum Task Force meets in Helsinki

    At the May 2013 Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, Ministers from the eight Arctic Council states established a “Task Force to facilitate the creation of a circumpolar business forum.” That Task Force met on 4-5 December in 2013 in Helsinki, where it selected a new name – the Arctic Economic Council – and advanced its work on the scope and mandate of the proposed new organization.

  • Photo: Linnea Nordstrom

    Students from the University of Tromsø act out model Arctic Council meetings

    November 6th students from the University of Tromsø held a role-play session where they acted out a EPPR Working Group meeting and a Senior Arctic Officials meeting. The role-play was a voluntary activity for the students and their teacher Piotr Graczyk hopes that the exercise will increase student awareness about the work of the Arctic Council.

  • Walruses. Photo: Garry Donaldson

    Long-term Warming and Environmental Change Persists in the Arctic

    Though not as extreme as last year, the Arctic continues to show evidence of a shift to a new warmer, greener state in 2013, according to the Arctic Report Card, an annual report that details Arctic change released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

  • Oil skimmers at work. Image by NOAA Photo Library

    EPPR: Understanding Risk to the Arctic Environment

    The Arctic is changing rapidly. As it does, it may offer more access to new visitors and new residents arriving from the South. That could mean cruise vessels underway off the coast of Greenland, shipping vessels carrying fuel oil along with their cargoes, or invasive species brought northward as uninvited guests aboard ships. The Arctic Council is working to develop a comprehensive picture of such risks to the Arctic marine environment.

  • Some of the individuals behind the work: Bill Ernst (CA), Timo Seppala (FI), Niklas Johansson (SE), Jan Johanssen (NO), Lise-Kristin Svenning-Jensen (NO)

    Obsolete Pesticides in Northern Russia: New Report from ACAP

    The Russian Federation has an estimated 40,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides, and the Arctic Council Working Group ACAP has been engaged since 2001 on a project to improve management of those stockpiles. At the recent SAO meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon, ACAP’s final report for inventory and storage improvement phases, and the recommendations associated with the report, were approved.

  • New gavel. Photo: Arctic Council.

    Senior Arctic Officials Met in Whitehorse

    The Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials held their first meeting under Canada’s Arctic Council chairmanship in Whitehorse, Yukon, on October 21 to 23, 2013.

  • The walrus is an example of an ice-dependent species. (Photo: Pelo Panton / CC BY NC)

    Sea ice loss means changes for Arctic species and communities

    The Arctic Council Working Group, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) has released the “Life Linked to Ice: a guide to sea-ice-associated biodiversity in this time of rapid change” report, which details changes in marine species and human communities as Arctic sea ice disappears, and makes recommendations to the Arctic Council. Changes in sea ice are affecting the very building blocks of life in the Arctic Ocean.

  • SAO Chair Patrick Porbey opens the meeting.

    Photos from the Whitehorse SAO Meeting

    High resolution photos from the Whitehorse Senior Arctic Officials' and Permanent Participants' meeting held 21-23 October can be found in the Arctic Council Flickr gallery. These photos are available for use through the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license. Please credit the Arctic Council Secretariat.

  • A view of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada where the upcoming SAO meeting will be held.

    Media Advisory: Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials Meeting to Take Place in Whitehorse

    Patrick Borbey, chair of Senior Arctic Officials, will hold a media availability on October 23 on the results of the plenary meeting of the Senior Arctic Officials. Media representatives are also invited to attend a public outreach event held by the Arctic Council and its biodiversity working group, CAFF, in partnership with the Government of Yukon and the Yukon Science Institute.

  • Photo: Kristin Nymark Heggland. "Ice Floating".

    IPCC report aligns with Arctic Council scientific work and action

    The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report - Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis - on September 27th, 2013. Many scientists from Arctic Council members contributed to this IPCC report, and the findings have informed the Council’s climate change related work, notably in guiding further scientific efforts and in adaptation actions important to Northern communities.

  • Arctic Council States welcome Minamata Convention on Mercury

    The Minamata Convention, a global agreement “to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds,” will be opened for signature in Minamata, Japan from October 9-11. The Arctic Council States and Permanent Participant organizations welcome the new agreement, recognizing that the Council’s scientific work has contributed greatly to global understanding of mercury pollution.

  • The main street of Whitehorse features stores and restaurants.

    Whitehorse, the Wilderness City

    The city of Whitehorse is located on the banks of the Yukon River in south-western Yukon, an hour and half from Kluane National Park, home of Mount Logan, Canada’s highest mountain. Whitehorse was an important river and railway hub for prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 and was named for the white “manes” of the nearby river rapids close to a former First Nations salmon fishing site.

  • 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.

  • "After the Eruption" - Inga Vitola - Creative Commons BY - http://flic.kr/p/dRFNfH

    The Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and Methane

    When the Arctic Council’s Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and Methane (TFBCM) met in Whitehorse, Yukon on 17-19 September, the discussion focused on the health and climate benefits that would follow from reduction of black carbon and methane emissions in the Arctic.