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.

Featured

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

“Plastic in a Bottle” afloat again

In September 2019, the Arctic Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Group launched its first “Plastic in a Bottle”, a capsule equipped with...
23 Jun 2021

The powerhouse behind the scenes

Nina Buvang Vaaja has shaped the Arctic Council Secretariat (ACS) like no other. When her term as Director ends in August, she will have served the Arctic Council for twe...
23 Jun 2021

Time witness reports: A red telephone for the environment

Hans Jakob Helms represented the Greenland Home Rule Government and was an advisor for the Danish delegation during the negotiations of the Arctic Environmental Protectio...
10 Jun 2021
See all

Events

June
29 Jun-30 Jun 2021
SAO Executive Online / Moscow
September
October
05 Oct-07 Oct 2021
SDWG Plenary Online / Arkhangelsk
07 Oct-08 Oct 2021
PAME Plenary Online
See all

@arcticcouncil

  • In the North and Baltic Seas, @PAMESecretariat launched two "Plastic in a Bottles" as part of their ongoing project to see how #marinelitter travels in & out of #Arctic waters. Learn about the project & follow the capsules' journeys in real-time 👉 ow.ly/Qesz50FgBMn https://t.co/4TYcCoJBkE June 23 4:50 pm