22 October 2012The Arctic is undergoing rapid change due to multiple pressures such as climate change and increased global resource use. When it comes to climate change, the effects appear more rapidly in the Arctic and provide us with insights into coming global effects. Last summer’s new record low sea ice minimum is another reminder of that. The Arctic is a region rich in biodiversity and is home to many species of great global significance that are currently under pressure. The region is now changing rapidly and we can expect further dramatic changes to people’s lives and wellbeing in the north. These are all issues that will be in focus during the Swedish Chairmanship’s upcoming Arctic environment ministers meeting in Jukkasjärvi 5-6 February. The meeting will include a science-based dialogue about how all the processes of change in the Arctic are interconnected and how developments in the Arctic are linked to changes at global level. Important issues on the Arctic Council agenda will also be dealt with, including in particular short-lived climate pollutants, protection of vulnerable areas and biodiversity in the Arctic, and Arctic resilience. Invitations to the meeting are being sent out. Photo: Bjorn Alfthan, UNEP/GRID-Arendal.