The Arctic Council consists of the eight Arctic States: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. Six international organisations representing Arctic Indigenous Peoples have permanent participant status.
Canada's Arctic encompasses approximately 40 percent of the nation's total land mass and has about 85,000 residents. This broadly defined region has two-thirds of Canada's marine coastline and a sea which extends from Alaska to the strait of Belle Isle.
Finland has a great deal to offer to arctic cooperation in terms of arctic-related expertise. Finland has several biological research stations in Lapland, where arctic ecology is being studied.
Norway is strongly committed to developing the Arctic cooperation further, through the establishment of the Arctic Council and welcomes the active participation of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic in the Arctic Council.
National security, economic development and scientific research are important U.S. interests in the region. U.S. Arctic policy emphasizes environmental protection, sustainable development, human health and the role of indigenous people.