Arctic Council

The leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic.

Who we are
"Northern World", painted by Ted Harrison for the inaguration of the Arctic Council in 1996.

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Who we are

Expert groups and task forces carry out additional work.

Where we focus
A woman and child in the Arctic. Photo: iStock
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.

Eiders in flight. Photo: CAFF
Biodiversity

The Arctic is home to more than 21,000 known species of highly cold-adapted mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, plants and fungi and microbes.

Wind power production in the Arctic. Photo: iStock
Climate

The temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise at more than twice the global annual average.

Sea ice 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.

A seal caught in a fishing net. Photo: iStock
Pollutants

The Arctic environment carries the traces of human-induced pollution – from soot to plastics, from methane to pesticides.

An oil boom. Photo: iStock
Emergencies

Harsh conditions and limited infrastructure in much of the Arctic increase risks and impacts and hinder response activities.

How we work
Credit: Freepik/Flaticon
Agreements and 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
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.

Recent news

Arctic Council launches photography contest for its new magazine, ‘Pathways’

Call for photograph submissions, open until 24 March 2021
23 Feb 2021

25 years of peace and cooperation – Highlights from the Arctic Frontiers panel

On the occasion of the Arctic Council’s anniversary, the Arctic Frontiers 2021 virtual conference hosted a high-level dialogue on the Council’s track record of 25 years o...
19 Feb 2021

Coronavirus in the Arctic: A stress test

One year into the pandemic we speak to two frontline experts on the coronavirus in the Arctic, the Danish infectious disease physician, Dr. Anders Koch, and the American ...
11 Feb 2021
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Events

March
10 Mar-11 Mar 2021
SAO Executive Meeting Online
16 Mar-18 Mar 2021
SAO Plenary Meeting Online
April
14 Apr-15 Apr 2021
SAO Executive Meeting Online
May
19 May-20 May 2021
Ministerial Meeting Iceland
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@arcticcouncil

  • How does #marine litter travel in and out of #Arctic waters? @PAMESecretariat's "Plastic in a Bottle" project sheds light on that question. See what happened when they released a capsule with a GPS tracker off the coast of Iceland 👉 ow.ly/txET50DPI93 https://t.co/R7zUWtWB5P March 4 5:50 pm