Arctic Council

The leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic.

Who we are
"Northern World", painted by Ted Harrison for the inaguration of the Arctic Council in 1996.

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Who we are

Expert groups and task forces carry out additional work.

Where we focus
A woman and child in the Arctic. Photo: iStock
Arctic peoples

The Arctic is home to almost four million people today – Indigenous people, more recent arrivals, hunters and herders living on the land, and city dwellers.

Eiders in flight. Photo: CAFF
Biodiversity

The Arctic is home to more than 21,000 known species of highly cold-adapted mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, plants and fungi and microbes.

Wind power production in the Arctic. Photo: iStock
Climate

The temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise at more than twice the global annual average.

Sea ice in the Arctic.
Ocean

The Arctic States hold a responsibility to safeguard the future development of the region and to develop models for stewardship of the marine environment.

A seal caught in a fishing net. Photo: iStock
Pollutants

The Arctic environment carries the traces of human-induced pollution – from soot to plastics, from methane to pesticides.

An oil boom. Photo: iStock
Emergencies

Harsh conditions and limited infrastructure in much of the Arctic increase risks and impacts and hinder response activities.

How we work
Credit: Freepik/Flaticon
Agreements and cooperation

The establishment of the Arctic Council was considered an important milestone enhancing cooperation in the circumpolar North. In the Ottawa Declaration, the eight Arctic States established the Council as a high-level forum to provide means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States – including the full consultation and full involvement of Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants.

Credit: Freepik/flaticon
Data and knowledge

At any given time the Council’s subsidiary bodies – the Working and Expert Groups – are engaged in close to 100 projects and initiatives.

Arctic monitoring. Icon: Freepik/Flaticon
Monitoring

As the Arctic continues to experience a period of intense and accelerating change it has become increasingly important to have better information on the status and trends of the Arctic environment.

Credit: Freepik/Flaticon
Assessments

Through the ever-growing body of assessments produced by its six Working Groups, the Arctic Council serves as knowledge broker and global advocate for Arctic topics. The Working Groups’ assessments have been instrumental in bringing Arctic issues to a global arena through policy recommendations and international cooperation.

Credit: Freepik/Flaticon
Recommendations

The strong knowledge base produced by the Arctic Council’s Working Groups and other subsidiary bodies feeds into recommendations for informed decision-making.

Recent news

12th Arctic Council Ministerial meeting convenes in Reykjavík

The meeting will further cooperation among Arctic States and Indigenous Permanent Participants, and mark the end of the Icelandic Chairmanship and beginning of the Russia...
10 May 2021

Sneak peek into the new work of the Arctic Council – A briefing series

Be one of the first to learn about the latest reports, assessments and activities from the Council’s Working Groups on the topics of climate change, Arctic shipping, huma...
06 May 2021

Observer Event on Arctic Governance: Opening remarks by the Arctic Council Chair

In an effort to enhance engagement with Arctic Council Observers, the Icelandic Chairmanship organized an online Observer event on 21 April. The topic up for discussion w...
22 Apr 2021
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Events

May
20 May 2021
Ministerial Meeting Reykjavik/Online
June
17 Jun 2021
SDWG Executive Meeting Moscow, Russian Federation
29 Jun-30 Jun 2021
SAO Executive Meeting Moscow, Russian Federation
September
27 Sep-01 Oct 2021
Cryosphere, Climate and Water in a Warming World Reykjavík, Iceland
November
23 Nov-25 Nov 2021
SAO Plenary Salekhard, Russian Federation
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@arcticcouncil

  • About 1/3 of Finland's land mass lies above the #Arctic Circle where nearly 180,000 inhabitants live. Finland has 2ce Chaired the Arctic Council, most recently 2017-2019. Learn more about #Finland in the Arctic Council ahead of #ArcticMinisterial2021: ow.ly/xVeT50EMEXV https://t.co/Q852B7eHwA May 17 5:30 pm