Arctic Council

The leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic.

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Arctic peoples

The Arctic is home to almost four million people today – Indigenous people, more recent arrivals, hunters and herders living on the land, and city dwellers.

Biodiversity

The flora and fauna of the Arctic

Climate

The temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise at more than twice the global annual average, which drives many of the changes underway in the Arctic.

Ocean

The Arctic States hold a responsibility to safeguard the future development of the region and to develop models for stewardship of the marine environment.

Pollutants

While most regions of the Arctic are far removed from large industrialized areas, the environment in the high North carries the traces of human-induced pollution – from soot to plastics, from methane to pesticides.

Who is the Arctic Council?

Expert groups and task forces carry out additional work.

What does the Arctic Council do?

Credit: Freepik/Flaticon
International cooperation

The establishment of the Arctic Council was considered an important milestone enhancing cooperation in the circumpolar North. In the Ottawa Declaration, the eight Arctic States established the Council as a high-level forum to provide means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States – including the full consultation and full involvement of Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants.

Credit: Freepik/flaticon
Generating data and knowledge

At any given time the Council’s subsidiary bodies – the Working and Expert Groups – are engaged in close to 100 projects and initiatives.

Arctic monitoring. Icon: Freepik/Flaticon
Monitoring

As the Arctic continues to experience a period of intense and accelerating change it has become increasingly important to have better information on the status and trends of the Arctic environment.

Credit: Freepik/Flaticon
Assessments

Through the ever-growing body of assessments produced by its six Working Groups, the Arctic Council serves as knowledge broker and global advocate for Arctic topics. The Working Groups’ assessments have been instrumental in bringing Arctic issues to a global arena through policy recommendations and international cooperation.

Credit: Freepik/Flaticon
Recommendations

The strong knowledge base produced by the Arctic Council’s Working Groups and other subsidiary bodies feeds into recommendations for informed decision-making.

Iceland is the current chair of the Arctic Council.
Learn about chairmanship priorities

What's new?

Recent news

Innovating the food industry on the top of the world

For millennia, food production has supported population growth, the development of towns and cities, trade and other elements essential to successful human development. Y...
11 Sep 2020

Building a sustainable future with lessons from the past

The Sustainable Development Working Group’s “Zero Arctic” project develops concepts for carbon neutral constructions in the Arctic. By drawing on both expertise from scie...
07 Sep 2020

As millions of acres burn in the Arctic, creating a common language around wildfire management is key

Record-setting wildfire seasons are becoming a new normal in the Arctic. While uncontrolled wildfires are devastating, could fire also be a tool for biodiversity and miti...
07 Sep 2020
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Events

September
22 Sep-24 Sep 2020
PAME II - 2020 Anchorage, Alaska, USA
22 Sep 2020
ACAP Workshop on Mercury Online / Oslo, Norway
23 Sep-24 Sep 2020
ACAP Working Group meeting Online / Oslo, Norway
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@arcticcouncil

  • On this day 24 years ago, representatives of the eight #Arctic States signed the Ottawa Declaration - officially establishing the Arctic Council. A historic moment captured here by @heikkilamark. Read the document that ever since guides the Council: ow.ly/bb3y50w8o9X https://t.co/urzaoQCwRd September 19 12:20 pm

Focus: The Arctic Marine Environment

Plastic litter on an Arctic coast. Photo: iStock/sodar99
Arctic Marine Microplastics and Litter
AMAP is developing a monitoring plan for microplastics and litter in Arctic waters.
Overview
Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter
The Regional Action Plan will address both sea and land-based activities, focusing on Arctic-specific marine litter sources and pathways that will play an important role in demonstrating Arctic States...
OverviewProject website
iStock
Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) of the Central Arctic Ocean
PAME has teamed up with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) to investigate the current state of the Central Arctic...
OverviewProject website
iStock
Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum
The Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum facilitates an exchange of information and best practices on shipping topics like hydrography, search and rescue logistics, industry guidelines and ...
OverviewProject website
Cod drying. Photo: iStock
Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic Region
The Blue Bioeconomy is based on the sustainable and intelligent use of renewable aquatic natural resources, with a focus on improving utilization and creating higher-value products.
OverviewProject website
Marine Biodiversity Monitoring
Arctic marine environments are experiencing, or expected to experience, many human-induced and natural pressures.
OverviewProject website