The EPPR Working Group was established under the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) in 1991. The EPPR Working Group is one of six working groups of the Arctic Council, which was established in 1996 to foster international co-operation on environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic. EPPR reports to the Arctic Council and Ministers through Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs). The EPPR Working Group receives its direction from Ministerial meetings held every two years.
The Arctic Council has eight member states: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States of America. National representatives from organizations in these countries form the EPPR Working Group. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), the Saami Council, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), the Aleut International Association (AIA), the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC) and the Gwich’in Council International are permanent participants in the Council.
Every two years, a Chair is elected from one of the member countries to head the EPPR. The Chair’s country usually provides the EPPR with a Secretariat.
Working Group Meetings
The EPPR Working Group holds meetings twice a year to discuss projects, proposals, and guidance from the Ministers and Senior Arctic Officials. In addition, the group uses the meetings as a venue for sharing best practices on the infrastructure and procedures needed to prevent, prepare, and respond to emergencies in the Arctic. The record of decisions and a summary from the EPPR Meetings are available in the Meeting Reports.
The EPPR Strategic Plan was updated and approved by Senior Arctic Official in March 2016. The Strategic Plan reflects the inclusion of new responsibilities EPPR has been assigned, including the responsibility for maintaining the Operational Guidelines that implement the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic (MOSPA) to which all Arctic Council countries are signatories. EPPR also supports the Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) in the Arctic by addressing relevant lessons learned from SAR exercises and real incidents. In addition, EPPR in cooperation with PAME, will be responsible for following-up implementation of the Framework Plan for Cooperation on Prevention of Oil Pollution from Petroleum and Maritime Activities in the Marine Areas of the Arctic, adopted by Arctic Council Minister in Iqaluit in 2015.
The new Communication Strategy for the Arctic Council, was approved by the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Official in Portland, Maine, in October 2016.
In October 2016, Senior Arctic Official adopted a set of common operating guidelines for all six Working Groups of the Arctic Council. These guidelines are meant to harmonize the common working procedures across the Working Groups on issues such as reporting, meeting practices and communication with SAOs, PPs, Observers and other interested stakeholders.
Photographs here are from past EPPR meetings, exercises and activities. The photos will not be used without expressed permission of the original creator or owner.