• Photo of the Torne River which separates the towns Haparanda and Tornio and also acts as the border between Sweden and Finland.

    Welcome to Haparanda

    On November 14-15 the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council will gather in Haparanda, Sweden, for this year’s last meeting. Haparanda is located just on the border to Finland, and is the twin town of the Finnish city Tornio where one of the hotels used for the meeting is located. Futhermore, Haparanda is home to a Sauna museum and the world’s northernmost IKEA store. A bus tour of the city for the meeting participants is planned in the afternoon of November 13. This will surely be both an exciting and beautiful ride.

  • SDWG Open Dialogue and Formal Meeting in Reykjavik

    The last Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) meeting was held at the Vikin Maritime Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland 17-19 September. The meeting began with an Informal Open Business Dialogue 17 September with 25 representatives from a wide range of industry sectors. The Informal Open Business Dialogue provided a good opportunity for delegates to hear about the challenges and opportunities, in particular of how business can contribute to sustainable development in the Arctic.

  • Photo of the audience, by Kári Fannar Lárusson/CAFF.

    Active audience at Arctic Council breakfast seminar

    Around 45 people attended the Arctic Council breakfast seminar on September 6 at the 10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region in Akureyri, Iceland. The audience consisted of Parliamentarians from the Arctic region, Members of Parliament, senators, as well as some guests from outside the Arctic region.

  • Picture from one of the workshop sessions.

    PAME Health and Safety Workshop

    The Protection of Arctic Marine Environments (PAME) working group held a Health Safety and Environmental Management Systems (HSEMS) Workshop in Keflavik, Iceland 10-12 June. The agenda of the workshop was coordinated with the related EPPR Recommended Practices for Prevention oil Pollution (RP3) workshop also held in Keflavik 11-12 June to facilitate the opportunity for oil and gas experts to attend and contribute to both workshops.

  • Photo, Lev Levit, Arctic Council Secretariat, Offshore oil spill response exercise (Exercise Barents 2012).

    EPPR Workshop Observing an Oil Spill Response Exercise in Kirkenes

    The increased focus on potential exploration of Arctic offshore oil and gas and shipping this summer is made evident by a busy month of June for the Emergency Prevention Preparedness and Response working group (EPPR). On 5-7 June 2012, a workshop was held in Kirkenes, Arctic Norway, where the participants had the opportunity to observe the annual Russian - Norwegian Exercise Barents.

  • Photo: Bruno Pilozzi, SDWG, and Tony Gaston, Environment Canada, participated in the workshop. Photo by Courtney Price, CAFF

    Arctic Biodiversity Assessment: a Policy Development Workshop

    On 14-15 May 2012, the Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora (CAFF) working group organized a workshop to discuss ideas to inform the policy process resulting from the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA). The meeting took place at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, Sweden.

  • Photo from the meeting, by Linnea Nordström

    Deputy Ministers’ Meeting: Outcomes

    The first Deputy Ministers’ Meeting under the Swedish Chairmanship was held in Stockholm on Tuesday 15 May. The meeting, hosted by State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Frank Belfrage, was met with great approval.

  • Photo by joeriksson on Flickr, entrance to Grand Hotel in Stockholm.

    Deputy Ministers' Meeting in Stockholm

    The Deputy Ministers' Meeting under the Swedish Chairmanship takes place next week on Tuesday 15 May. The venue is the "Spegelsalen" of the Grand Hotel in downtown Stockholm. Approximately 100 delegates are expected to attend.

  • Photo: Anthon Frederiksen, Gustaf Lind, and Mike Gill presented the ASTI report at the event.

    ASTI media event at IPY inspires articles

    On Monday April 23 The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) working group hosted a media event to present the updated version of the Arctic Species Trend Index (ASTI) to journalists attending the conference.

  • The Arctic Council at IPY From Knowledge to Action

    The final International Polar Year (IPY) conference will be held in Montréal, Canada April 22-27. Over 2,500 participants are expected. Attendees include Arctic and Antarctic researchers, academics, policy-makers, industry representatives, non-governmental organizations and inhabitants of circumpolar communities.

  • Photo by Linnea Nordström: Swedish Museum of Natural History

    Senior Arctic Officials met in Stockholm

    Last week, the Arctic Council held the second SAO meeting under the Swedish Chairmanship among whales and dinosaur skeletons at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Nearly 180 delegates gathered in Stockholm to discuss ongoing projects and also to approve or comment on future projects.

  • Photo from PAMEs meeting in Stockholm March 2012

    PAME Working Group meeting in Stockholm

    The Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group of the Arctic Council is meeting in Stockholm, Sweden for their first meeting of 2012. The meeting is being held at the facilities of the Prime Minister’s Office, Rosenbad 26-27 March.

  • Photo of the Drake passage by Peter Prokosch/GRID-Arenda

    Phase II of the Arctic Ocean Review

    The Arctic Ocean Review 
    Project (AOR) is a multi-phased project led by the working group PAME (Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment) to review the status and trends of the Arctic marine environment;

  • Photo: From left to right: Robert Blaauw, Shell International , Joshua Reichert, Pew Environment Group , Lisa Speer, Natural Resource Defense Council, Anton Vasiliev, Russian SAO, Gustaf Lind, SAO Chair

    The Arctic - A beacon of hope

    On February 23 SAO Chair Gustaf Lind attended the World Oceans Summit in Singapore to speak on the panel titled The Arctic - beacon of hope? Russian SAO Anton Vasiliev also participated in the panel.

  • Photo: A visit to the Gällivare iron-ore mine Malmberget was included in the meeting schedule.

    SDWG Meeting in Gällivare

    The Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) meeting took place in Gällivare in Northern Sweden February 14-15. A total of 34 representatives from the Member states, Permanent Participants, PAME and AMAP Working Groups, and Observers attended the meeting.

  • Photo: Arctic parliamentarians meet in Stockholm. At the table, from left: Morten Höglund, Norwegian parliamentarian and Chair of SCPAR, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Gustaf Lind, Sweden’s Arctic Ambassador.

    SCPAR meeting in Stockholm on February 14 2012

    On 14 February 2012 the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (SCPAR) met at the Riksdag Building in Stockholm to discuss Arctic cooperation. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt gave a speech during the meeting in view of Sweden’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2011–2013.

  • Photo: The Swedish Museum of Natural History is a major research institute which houses collections containing specimens collected in the 18th century and onwards. Photo by Mikael Axelsson.

    SAO meeting at Swedish Museum of Natural History

    The Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is is arranging the first Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) meeting of the year at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm in March. The Chairmanship in cooperation with the museum hope to arouse interest in nature and natural sciences, the environment, conservation and biodiversity. Interests that chime well with the activities of the Arctic Council.

  • Photo from Arctic Frontiers. Photo by Arctic council

    Arctic Frontiers a useful resource for the working groups

    The sixth annual Arctic Frontiers conference was held January 22-27 in Tromsø, Norway. This year's theme was Energies of the High North and the title of the conference was Polar Might. The conference was held at the University of Tromsø.

  • 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.

  • 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.”