Thematic Work

News Articles

  • SDWG Chair Mikael Anzén

    Arctic environment requires responsible corporate practices

    As the Arctic becomes an interesting place for business actors to conduct operations, the strains on this sensitive region are increasing. The Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is organizing a workshop in Stockholm on 26–27 January to determine whether the OECD guidelines on corporate social responsibility (CSR) are adequate for the Arctic region.

  • Arctic Council logo with circumpolar map and arctic fox

    Arctic Council drafts communication strategy

    The first draft of the Arctic Council communication strategy will soon be sent to a contact group for evaluation.The draft of the communication strategy is based on groundwork done by the Arctic Council Communication and Outreach group which was active during the period 2010-2011. The group was lead by Giles Norman from Canada who did extensive surveys with representatives from the member states, permanent participants, and working groups to evaluate the communication needs of the Arctic Council. This work resulted in the Arctic Council Communications and Outreach Guidelines which were approved in 2011.

  • Cover of report with ice crystal and drop of mercury

    Mercury in the Arctic

    The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) recently published a detailed scientific assessment on mercury in the Arctic, updating previous assessments made in 1998 and 2004.

  • COP 17 logo, globe with tree growing out of it

    Arctic States call for measures to reduce emissions

    The Arctic States call for powerful measures to reduce emissions: “The fight against climate change is an imperative common challenge for the international community and requires immediate global measures. To highlight the effects of global warming in the Arctic, Sweden, which holds the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, will today host a seminar in the margins of the climate conference.”

  • Photo: JohnConnell on Flickr.com, Durban International Convention Centre.

    Arctic – A Messenger for Global Change

    The Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, along with the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and Greenland, will present a side event on current environmental trends in the Arctic during the COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Durban, South Africa.

  • Photo, barrel dumps in the Arctic. Photo provided by IPCAP.

    New Arctic Contaminants Project

    Industrial development of the Arctic has been accompanied by waste accumulation, especially in the vicinity of indigenous villages. This represents a growing threat to safety and health of the Arctic people who – due to traditional living conditions – are exposed to higher levels of contamination in the air, water, soil and their food supply.

  • Arctic Trends and the ABA

    The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) was endorsed by the Arctic Council in 2006. The aims of the ABA are to provide a much needed description of the current state of the Arctic’s ecosystems and biodiversity, create a baseline for use in global and regional assessments of biodiversity, and provide a basis to inform and guide future Arctic Council work.

  • Walrus Photo by Peter Prokosch / GRID-Arendal

    CAFF Works with the CBD on Arctic biodiversity

     In a guest article for the Biodiversity Policy and Practice website, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group Executive Secretary Tom Barry outlines the work that CAFF is doing to support Arctic biodiversity. As Barry states in his article, some of this work is being done in conjunction with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • Picture: About 160 people attended the SAO meeting in Luleå

    Successful Meeting in Luleå

    The first SAO meeting organized under the Swedish Chairmanship was a success. Approximately 160 people attended the meeting which took place at the Luleå Technical University 8-9 November. Meeting participants were welcomed on Tuesday morning by a personal video greeting from Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. Arctic Council Chair Gustaf Lind then opened the meeting with general information about the goals and working procedures for the Swedish Chairmanship period.

  • Photo of an Arctic fox by UNEP-GRID Arendal, Lawrence Hislop

    CAFF Event on Arctic Biodiversity

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, invites you to attend a special side event discussing THE VIEW FROM UP HERE: ARCTIC BIODIVERSITY IN A WARMING WORLD at the upcoming 15th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), in Montreal, Canada.

  • AMAP Working Group met in Moscow

    Russia hosted the 25th meeting of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Working Group of the Arctic Council in Moscow October 3-5, 2011.

  • rescuer in diving suit being lowered to water from helicopter

    First Arctic Council SAR exercise in Whitehorse, Canada

    The first Arctic Council Search and Rescue exercise took place October 4-6, 2011 in Whitehorse, Yukon. 80 delegates and observers from the eight Arctic Council member states were welcomed by Lieutenant General Walter Semianiw, Commander Canada Command and host of the international exercise.

  • Picture of Magnus Rystedt, Managing Director NEFCO and Helle Lindegaard, Senior Legal Adviser NEFCO signing the NEFCO’s PSI Cooperation Agreement with the Russian Federation. Photo: NEFCO

    Russia allocates EUR 10M towards Pollution Prevention Initiatives

    On Tuesday 4 October 2011, the Russian Government signed an agreement allocating up to EUR 10 million to the implementation of Arctic Council priority projects.

    The funds will be channeled into the Arctic Council's Project Support Instrument (PSI), whose main purpose is to finance pollution-preventive initiatives in the Arctic region.  

  • Walrus observed in water by tourists in boat

    Marine biodiversity

    With a warming climate, marine biodiversity faces a number of challenges. In order to understand these changes in marine ecosystems, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) has responded in a number of ways.

  • Hand holding algae sample

    Community Based Monitoring

    The peoples inhabiting the various regions of the Arctic spend vast amounts of time on the land and at sea. Drawing on personal experience, information shared with others, and knowledge handed down through the generations, residents of the Arctic are able to recognize subtle environmental changes and offer insights into their causes.

  • Arctic Data

    A wealth of data is collected and assessed by the Arctic Council. The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working groups have developed a site to house the information.

  • CAFF logo

    Assessments

    The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna's assessments provide vital descriptions of the current state of Arctic biodiversity. These efforts create scientific baselines which inform regional and global assessments, and provide a basis to guide future Arctic Council work.

  • Joseph Culp sampling freshwater benthos via kick net. Photo by Daryl Halliwell, Environment Canada

    Monitoring

    Learn more about The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna's Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), an international network of scientists, government agencies, Indigenous organizations and conservation groups working together to harmonize and integrate monitoring efforts and data collection.

  • Map of languages spoken in the Arctic

    Linguistic Diversity

    Language not only communicates, it defines culture, nature, history, humanity, and ancestry [1]. The indigenous languages of the Arctic have been formed and shaped in close contact with their environment. They are a valuable source of information and a wealth of knowledge on human interactions with nature is encoded in these languages. If a language is lost, a world is lost.

  • Photo by NEXTORS/flickr (Creative Commons) "Road from Luleå to Bensbyn"

    Next stop: Luleå

    The Swedish Chairmanship 2011-2013 

    From 12 May 2011 Sweden is chairing the Arctic Council. In its chairmanship programme, Sweden intends to focus on several issues such as prevention of oil emissions, climate change, resilience, biodiversity and environmental protection.

    Concerning the peoples in the Arctic, Sweden intends to listen to the views of the Arctic indigenous peoples, focus on languages and food safety, among others.