At the Arctic Frontiers conference, in Tromsø, Norway on January 19, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials Vincent Rigby spoke during the opening session.
At the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway on January 19, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials Vincent Rigby spoke during the opening session. Tromsø is the home of the Arctic Council’s standing secretariat, and SAO Chair Rigby used this occasion both to present highlights from Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship thus far and to look forward to the upcoming Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, which will celebrate the accomplishments during Canada’s Chairmanship as well as mark the transition to the Chairmanship of the United States (2015-2017).
Of the many initiatives that Canada undertook or advanced during the Canadian Chairmanship of the Council, Rigby highlighted in particular the creation of the Arctic Economic Council, an independent body which will be “an excellent opportunity for Arctic-to-Arctic collaboration amongst business leaders from the North and will facilitate the sharing of best practices.” He also cited the importance of Canada’s priority of having the Arctic Council’s focus on the incorporation of traditional knowledge into its work, as well as the overall strengthening of the Arctic Council, saying:
“The Arctic Council is effective and active on many fronts, including oil pollution prevention, scientific cooperation, and black carbon and methane in the Arctic. The Council has turned research into tangible, actionable recommendations; it is becoming an organization focused on action, not just research and assessments.”
He highlighted the upcoming implementation plan of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, a major report recently published by Working Group CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna), as one of the best examples of this.
SAO Chair Rigby concluded his remarks by highlighting the importance of continuity during the transition from the Canadian to the American Chairmanship, which will take place in April 2015.