E.U. Presents New Arctic Policy

The European Commission presented its new Arctic policy on Wednesday. The policy aims to protect the Arctic, to promote sustainable use of resources and to promote international cooperation and engagement with indigenous peoples.

In order to further tackle climate change and safeguard environmental protection,
the E.U. has already committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gases by 40 percent in 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. The E.U. will strive for an international implementation of the climate agreement struck in Paris in December last year. Already 20 percent of the E.U. budget has been reserved for climate adaptation and mitigation measures.

An Integrated EU policy for the Arctic – Frequently Asked Questions

The High Representative and the European Commission set out an integrated response to the challenges of the Arctic.

1. What is the Arctic region?
While various definitions for the Arctic exist, in the Joint Communication the notion “Arctic region” covers the area around the North Pole, north of the Arctic Circle (latitude 66 degrees, 32 minutes North). It includes the Arctic Ocean and territories of the eight Arctic States: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States of America.

New US Administration May ‘Lose Momentum’ on Arctic Priorities

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Secretary Kerry is the first high-level US official to take the chairmanship of the Arctic Council since the group’s creation in 1996. The final Arctic Council ministerial meeting is scheduled to take place in Fairbanks, Alaska on May 2017 before the US passes on the chairmanship.

The United States currently chairs the international Arctic Council for a two-year term that ends in May 2017. During its chairmanship, Secretary of State John Kerry set an ambitious agenda to address climate change, improve economic opportunities and enhance ocean safety.

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Arctic Council Seeking Legal Agreement on Scientific Cooperation

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Arctic Council is comprised of the eight Arctic nations — the United States Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. The United States currently chairs the Arctic Council until the May 2017 ministerial meeting scheduled to be held in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The framework is likely to cover issues ranging from access to scientific sites, and coordinating funding for scientific activities between governments.

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Informing Public Policy and Cultivating an Engaged Citizenry

by the Arctic Journal

Hello Arctic colleagues

I am writing to pass on the announcement that the Water and Sanitation (WASH) survey of the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group is seeking your input!

WASH focuses on improving health through safe and affordable access to household running water and sewer in Arctic and sub-Arctic communities. The United States and the Kingdom of Denmark co-lead the initiative, which seeks to document the status of water and sewer service in Arctic communities, promote innovations in sanitation-service provision, and describe climate-related vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies related to sanitation and water systems.

Years zero

by Kevin McGwin

When the Arctic Economic Council holds its first annual general meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, it will be able to point to a number of accomplishments. One of the most visible of those is the establishment of a secretariat, in Tromsø.

“That is a good accomplishment for the first year,” says Tom Axworthy, the policy chair at Massey College, University of Toronto. The Arctic Council, he points out, did not get a permanent home base, also located in Tromsø, until 2013, almost two decades after the organisation was founded, in 1996.

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Indigenous People Seek Greater Role in Arctic Policy

by Tom Porter

Arctic observer Dr. Anne Henshaw delivered a lecture to the Bowdoin community Thursday, March 31, 2016. She had originally intended to call it “A Place at the Table”: Indigenous representation in international Arctic Policy.” But on reflection she decided to change the title to “We don’t need a seat at the table, it’s our table: Indigenous engagement in international Arctic Policy.”

The revised title, she explained, “reflects the sentiment that the Arctic is not just a frontier to be explored, a wilderness to be protected or laboratory for scientific learning, but for the 400,000 indigenous people who live in the region it is first and foremost a homeland.” And as such, she said, those people should be guaranteed a say in how the region is managed going forward.

Science summit a rousing success

by Larry Hinzman

The Arctic Science Summit Week, Arctic Observing Summit, Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials, Model Arctic Council and International Arctic Assembly were convened in mid-March on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks with great productivity and satisfaction of the participants. We were pleased to welcome more than 1000 participants from more than 30 different nations and more than 130 different institutions. These registrants included 200 Alaskans and 28 members of the media.

Arctic Council Secretariat preliminary 2015 Annual Report

This report gives an account of the work of the standing Arctic Council Secretariat (ACS) for
the year 2015. This was the third year of operation for the ACS, and 2015 represented the
second year of the two-year work plan for the ACS which was approved by the Arctic Council
in 2013.

2015 was an interesting year for the ACS in many respects as it worked to support the work
of the Arctic Council, and the year included several significant milestones. Perhaps most
significantly, the Arctic Council met at the Ministerial level in Iqaluit in Canada on 24 April to
conclude the second Chairmanship of Canada (2013-2015) and to welcome the second
Chairmanship of the United States (2015-2017).