BARROW DECLARATION on the occasion of the Second Ministerial Meeting of THE ARCTIC COUNCIL
Ministers representing the eight Arctic States, meeting in Barrow, Alaska, United States of America for the second ministerial level meeting of the Arctic Council,
Noting the commitment of the Governments of the Arctic States to environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic region,
Acknowledging that international cooperation is fundamental to resolving important circumpolar issues,
Emphasizing the essential role played by Arctic communities and Arctic indigenous inhabitants in all aspects of the future of the Arctic,
Acknowledging the unique role played in the Council and all of its subsidiary bodies by the Permanent Participants,
Noting with pleasure that the Arctic Council, established at Ottawa in l996, has successfully taken on the responsibilities of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) and has also moved beyond that Strategy to consider the question of sustainable development including the implementation of new projects and programs within the Council’s mandate, and that its chairmanship is about to pass to a third Arctic State,
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10. Note with appreciation the work done by the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group on finalizing its Analysis of Agreements and Arrangements, endorse EPPR s future activities as outlined in the SAO Report to Ministers, and
further endorse the main conclusion of the Analysis of Agreements and Arrangements conducted by EPPR, that international conventions and instruments currently in force, adopted or still under preparation appear to cover the present needs for Arctic cooperation in the field of prevention of, preparedness for and response to environmental emergencies on land or sea;
look forward to finalization of the Circumpolar Map of Resources at Risk from Oil Spills in the Arctic by the next Ministerial Meeting in 2002, ~s an important tool to facilitate prioritizing prompt responses when biological resources are jeopardized by an oil spill; and
encourage the Working Group to continue with ongoing activities initiated under EPPR a Strategic Plan of Action;
REPORT TO SENIOR ARCTIC OFFICIALS TO ARCTIC MINISTERS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
OCTOBER 12, 2000
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D. EMERGENCY PREVENTTON, PREPAREDNESS, AND RESPONSE (EPPR)
The goals of the EPPR working group are to protect the Arctic environment from the threat or impact of activities in the Arctic that may result from an accidental release of pollutants and to promote sustainable development in the Arctic area.
In the Iqaluit Declaration, Ministers endorsed EPPR s Work Plan set forth in its Strategic Plan of Action. Ministers asked the working group to initiate new projects and activities as indicated in the chapter entitled Activity Areas and Possible Future Activities of the Work Plan and endorsed the development of a Circumpolar Map of Resources at Risk from Oil Spills in the Arctic.
An earlier task given to EPPR at the AEPS Ministerial Meeting in Inuvik in 1996 was to propose, as a supplement to existing international agreements, adequate arrangements for prevention, preparedness, and response in those parts of the Arctic area where regional or bilateral cooperation is not in place. In the Inuvik Declaration, the group was given the task of analyzing the adequacy and effectiveness of existing agreements and arrangements.
The EPPR working group finalized the Analysis of the Adequacy and Effectiveness of Agreements and Arrangements, a task given to the working group by the AEPS Ministerial Meetings at Nuuk in 1993 and Inuvik in 1996. Based on a comprehensive risk assessment process, country surveys of bilateral and multilateral agreements, and a detailed analysis of the arrangements related to the identified risks, the EPPR analysis concluded that international conventions and instruments currently in force, agreed to, or still under preparation appear to cover the present needs for Arctic cooperation as far as prevention of, preparedness for, and response to land-based accidents, maritime accidents, or nuclear accidents with environmental impacts are
The EPPR working group is preparing a GIS-based Circumpolar Map of Resources at Risk from Oil Spills in the Arctic showing the areas of highest risk of an oil spill and those areas with sensitive natural resources or subsistence communities. This tool will facilitate prioritizing prompt responses when resources are jeopardized by an oil spill. Other Arctic Council working groups have expressed interest in using the map in conjunction with some of the work being carried out by their working groups. The final product will be ready for the next EPPR working group meeting in 2001.
The EPPR working group has developed a web site, which can accessed through the Arctic Council web site. The web serves an important role of facilitating exchange of emergency-related information and expertise and makes accessible information regarding EPPR activities. The Arctic Guide, an EPPR document updated annually, has been integrated as a part of the web site and will no longer be produced in hard copy.
The EPPR working group is conducting a pilot project on Source Control Management and Emergency Prevention Strategies for High-Risk Activities at the Apatity waterworks in Murmansk region. The aim of the pilot project is to develop and test a methodology for reducing the potential for emergencies at facilities. The process will include a facility risk assessment, application of international standards such as the ISO 140001, Environmental Management Systems standards, and recommendations as to what should be done to reduce the threat. The resulting methodology will be applicable to a broad spectrum of Arctic activities.
The EPPR working group is developing an information brochure on EPPR. The brochure will be ready in Spring 2001.
The EPPR working soup will arrange an expert workshop on the Development of a Standardized Approach to Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technology in Canada in January 2001 to determine if Arctic-specific information is needed in this area. Depending on the outcome of the workshop, future actions in this field may be taken to prepare an Arctic guideline on this issue.
The EPPR working group will arrange a pilot Training Course for Oil Spill Response in the Arctic Environment in Svalbard, Norway, in September 200 i. The aim of the course is to provide both theoretical lectures and field exercises with actual spills in Arctic
The EPPR working group will consider participation in two projects concerning airborne radiation monitoring and communication. The projects are situated in Alaska and near the Bilibino Nuclear Power Station in Chukotka, Russia. The specific goals of the projects are data collection, development of a communication plan to explain results of measurements to the public, and involvement of native students. The United States will prepare a concrete project outline for the next EPPR meeting.
For additional information on EPPR’s activities since Iqaluit, SAOs direct the attention of Ministers to Annex 6.
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Finland has provided secretariat support for the EPPR working group since 1997, when it took over this responsibility from Sweden. Finland’s annual contribution in support of the secretariat has been approximately US$20,000.
As the resources available to the EPPR working group have been somewhat limited, projects are normally undertaken by a lead country, with others contributing as their interests and ability allow. When funding is needed, costs have usually been divided among member countries.