News Articles

  • Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada

    Ottawa hosts third session of Task Force on Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Prevention

    When the Arctic Council’s Task Force on Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Prevention (TFOPP) met recently in Ottawa, it took important steps towards developing the Action Plan for oil pollution prevention mandated by Ministers in Kiruna. The Task Force is focused particularly on potential safety measures to prevent oil pollution from maritime and petroleum activities.

  • Image of the Mental Wellness workshop

    SDWG Held Workshop on Mental Wellness in Circumpolar Communities

    The Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) held a successful workshop on the project “the Evidence Base for Promoting Mental Wellness and Resilience to Address Suicide in Circumpolar Communities” in May in Tromsø, Norway. The two-day event brought together research teams, Permanent Participants, community members, academics and government officials.

  • Logo of working group CAFF

    CAFF and Arctic mapping organizations cooperate on Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure

    The Arctic Council Working Group CAFF recently announced a major milestone in scientific cooperation in the Arctic – the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to guide national mapping organizations from the Arctic states toward production of a harmonized map, covering the entire Arctic region, with data on climate, biodiversity and other themes.

  • Ships along the Northern Sea Route

    INTERVIEW: Co-chairs of the Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and Methane

    At the fourth meeting of the Arctic Council’s Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and Methane, the co-chairs of the task force emphasized the added value of the Task Force to existing initiatives dealing with black carbon and methane, as well as the collaborative nature of the Arctic Council states, Permanent Participants and Working Groups.

  • Image of the Helsinki Skyline

    Helsinki hosts fourth meeting of the Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and Methane

    On 21-22 May, the Arctic Council’s Task Force for Action on Black Carbon and Methane met for the fourth time. The task force, which is co-chaired by Canada and Sweden, has the mandate to “develop arrangements on actions to achieve enhanced black carbon and methane emission reductions in the Arctic, and report at the next Ministerial meeting in 2015”.

  • Elle Merete Omma is Sámi and was raised in a reindeer herding family in Norway and Sweden.

    New Executive Secretary for the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat

    Elle Merete Omma has been elected as the next Executive Secretary for the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat (IPS). Ms. Omma will assume her full time duties at the IPS on September 1, 2014.

  • Image of drilling rig in waters off of Seattle

    New Guidelines from PAME on Arctic Oil and Gas Safety Management

    A new report from Working Group PAME provides guidance on options to promote improved safety culture and robust safety management systems in the Arctic offshore oil and gas industry. As interest in Arctic offshore petroleum resources continues to grow, there has been growing concern about the potential effects that an increase in such activities could have on the Arctic marine environment and

  • Image of zodiac boats next to icebergs

    Arctic Marine Tourism Project taking shape

    The Arctic Marine Tourism Project (AMTP) is part of a renewed effort by the Arctic Council to analyze and promote sustainable tourism across the circumpolar Arctic. The AMTP is organized by the Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) and co-led by Canada and the United States.

  • Image by NOAA Ocean Explorer, via Flickr / Creative Commons BY-SA

    AMAP releases Arctic Ocean Acidification Overview Report

    The Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) working group has released its Arctic Ocean Acidification Overview Report. The Report introduces the issue of ocean acidification and presents the results of AMAP’s Arctic Ocean Acidification assessment for a general audience and high school level educational use.

  • "Sampling Melt Ponds" by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Creative Commons BY

    Interview from the Scientific Cooperation Task Force Meeting

    At the second meeting of the Arctic Council’s Task Force for Enhancing Scientific Cooperation in the Arctic, Mr. Evan Bloom, co-chair of the Task Force shared some thoughts on why scientific cooperation is important and why now is a good time to work towards an arrangement on improved scientific research cooperation among the eight Arctic States.

  • Image of earth taken from space. Image: NASA Goddard Photo and Video / Creative Commons BY license.

    Arctic Council Science Cooperation Task Force meets in Helsinki

    The Arctic Council’s Task Force for Enhancing Scientific Cooperation in the Arctic (SCTF) held its second meeting in Helsinki on April 8-9, 2014 at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.  During the meeting, delegations exchanged views on proposals related to advancing scientific cooperation in the Arctic, and decided that the task force would begin work on negotiating an MOU or other instrument at its next meeting in Reykjavik,

  • Image of ships in ice-covered waters

    Senior Arctic Official Gustaf Lind on the Development of Arctic shipping

    In March 2014, Gustaf Lind, Senior Arctic Official for Sweden, spoke in London at a Conference on Sustainable Arctic Shipping and Marine Operations organized and supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, the Embassy of Sweden in London and the Nordic Council of Ministers. In a brief interview, Mr. Lind spoke about Sweden's specific experience, knowledge and skills in this area.

  • Patrick Borbey, Canada's SAO Chair.

    Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials Patrick Borbey on sustainable Arctic shipping

    In March 2014, Patrick Borbey, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, spoke in London at a Conference on Sustainable Arctic Shipping and Marine Operations.  In a brief interview, Mr. Borbey spoke about the collaborative work of the Arctic states and associated issues of marine safety, infrastructure and tourism, including the work of PAME’s ...

  • Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization during his speech. Photo: Mikael Anzen

    Secretary General of IMO attends Arctic Council meeting

    Mr. Koji Sekimizu, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), attended the most recent meeting of Senior Arctic Officials in Yellowknife, Canada. He gave a presentation on the IMO’s work towards completion of a mandatory Polar Code and welcomed strengthened collaboration with the Arctic Council in the future.

  • Minister Brende of Norway

    Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Secretariat

    Mr. Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, visited the Arctic Council Secretariat on Friday, 4th April 2014. Magnús Jóhannesson, Director of the Arctic Council Secretariat, spoke with the Minister about the work of the Arctic Council Secretariat, the ongoing work in the Arctic Council and the outcomes of the meeting of Senior Arctic Officials in Yellowknife.

  • Photo by: ACS/Linnea Nordström

    Senior Arctic Officials met in Yellowknife

    March 27, 2014 – The Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials held their second meeting under Canada’s Chairmanship in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories on March 26-27, 2014. The theme for Canada’s Chairmanship is “Development for the People of the North.”

  • Photo by: ACS/Linnea Nordström

    Agreement on the Arctic Economic Council

    The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister for the Arctic Council and Chair of the Arctic Council welcomes agreement on the Arctic Economic Council

  • Image: Bob Wilson, 2013

    Arctic Council upcoming SAO meeting in Yellowknife

    At the Arctic Council’s upcoming meeting of Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada, delegations from the Arctic Council’s states and Permanent Participant organizations (which represent indigenous peoples of the Arctic) will take a comprehensive look at the ongoing work of the Arctic

  • Image by Bjart Aarmo Lund / CC BY-SA

    Task Force on Oil Pollution Prevention interviews: Part 2

    At a recent meeting of the Arctic Council’s Task Force on Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Prevention, several of the representatives from the Arctic states and from Permanent Participants offered some thoughts on why oil pollution prevention in the Arctic is important, and why the Arctic Council Task Force is a good way to tackle the challenge.

  • Murmansk in Russia is the largest city above the Arctic circle. (Photo: euno from CC BY)

    Arctic pollution prevention and mitigation fund becomes operational

    The Arctic Council Project Support Instrument (PSI), a funding mechanism managed by the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFCO), became operational on March 12, 2014.  Almost 16 million Euro have been pledged or contributed to the fund to date, which will be used to support various action-oriented Arctic Council projects focusing on pollution prevention in the Arctic.