Another Plug for the EU to be Admitted to the Arctic Council

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Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation continues discussions at meeting in Stockholm

The Arctic Council’s Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation (TFAMC) met for a second time on 4-5 February 2016 in Stockholm.
The Task Force continued its assessment of future needs for enhancing Arctic marine cooperation.

Delegates engaged in very constructive, preliminary discussions on the gaps and opportunities for cooperation identified through intersessional consultations as well as potential cooperative mechanisms to address these needs.

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Canada Wants to Reopen Dialogue with Russia

by Eva Salinas & Hannah Hoag  

Can cooperation on Arctic issues thaw diplomatic relations between Canada and Russia? We asked two of Canada’s leading Arctic experts – Rob Huebert and Heather Exner-Pirot – whether the two nations could mend their rapport through their shared interests in the Arctic

Last month, Canada’s foreign minister Stéphane Dion said that Canada would seek closer relations with Russia, despite that country’s ongoing military aggression and its actions in Ukraine. In his speech at the Ottawa Forum 2016, Dion brought up the Arctic as a region – and an issue – where Canada could benefit by reengaging with Russia. But does Dion’s plan to reconnect with Russia have legs?

It’s time for the Liberals to show us their Arctic plan

by John Higginbotham

During one of the 2015 election debates, Justin Trudeau accused Prime Minister Harper of lacking an Arctic policy, calling it “Big Sled, No Dogs.”

The idea was that the Conservative government’s Arctic record was empty rhetoric on investment in northern communities and on security in the face of Russian expansion in nearby waters. Mr. Trudeau tweeted that he had a “different plan.”

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Application of Indigenous Knowledge in the Arctic Council

From the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada

There is an increasing need to better understand changes occurring within the Arctic and a growing appreciation of how Indigenous Knowledge (IK) may illuminate understanding of these changes. This knowledge source will add to the quality of research/reports being conducted/created under the auspice of the Arctic council (AC), when utilized effectively.

Various challenges are faced on how to include IK in a meaningful way within the AC working groups. One such challenge is confusion of how to define and utilize IK, and how to employ both IK and science together. This paper will attempt to articulate and address these concerns, while outlining a process to ensure the application of IK within AC work.

Fairbanks to host Arctic Council ministerial meeting in 2017

By Weston Morrow,

FAIRBANKS—Fairbanks will host the next ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council in 2017, the United States special representative to the Arctic announced on Monday.

Adm. Robert Papp revealed the location choice at the Arctic Frontiers 2016 meeting in Tromsø, Norway. It is scheduled to take place May 2017.

The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum through which nations with Arctic assets meet and coordinate on Arctic policy. The council includes the U.S., Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Denmark. The council also includes six “permanent participants”: the Aleut International Association, the Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Gwich’in Council International, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, and the Saami Council.

Ice-Breaking Diplomacy: Countries In The Arctic Circle Show How To Handle Territorial Disputes

“It is a Middle East-like situation in very superficial terms — just that no one is killing each other over it,” a former oil executive said on the sidelines of the Arctic Frontiers conclave in Tromsø, Norway, a town of 72,000 inhabitants 350km inside the Arctic Circle.

The northern frontiers of the Arctic are not just barren lands of ice, snow and polar bears. The ‘High North’ houses everything from highly militarised zones and cross-country interests in minerals and natural resources, apart from being the global ground zero of the climate change debate.

Ambassador to the Arctic: Meet President Obama’s point man for Alaska

By Erica MartinsonAlaska Dispatch News

WASHINGTON — Alaska leaders have been making use of a new Washington connection lately: the man in charge of President Barack Obama’s year-old initiative to coordinate federal activity in the Arctic. 

Mark Brzezinski has been tasked with ferrying through the pile of promises Obama brought alongwhen he spent three days in Alaska last year.

Brzezinski took the helm in August as executive director of the Arctic Executive Steering Committee, a White House initiative to oversee the many agencies of the federal government with a hand in the U.S. Arctic. The president’s chief of science and technology, John Holdren, chairs the committee.