Arctic Council

The leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic.

About us
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.

Who is the Arctic Council?

Expert groups and task forces carry out additional work.

What does the Arctic Council do?

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.

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

Recent news

EPPR helps small communities prepare for oil spill risks with launch of educational video

The video creates awareness on impacts and risks of oil spills and challenges they may create in small communities
01 Dec 2020

Navigating Arctic waters with the Arctic Council and the International Maritime Organization

Through the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group, the Arctic Council and IMO work together to encourage implementation of the Polar Code. Now in its ...
27 Nov 2020

Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum Sees Record Attendance with Major Increase in Usage of its Web Portal

The Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment established the Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum to raise awareness o...
25 Nov 2020
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Events

2021

January
12 Jan-14 Jan 2021
EPPR Working Group meetings Online
19 Jan-21 Jan 2021
EGBCM working meeting Online
19 Jan-20 Jan 2021
EPPR plenary meeting Online
See all

@arcticcouncil

  • #Wildfires don't respect boundaries. But fire & smoke shouldn't be the only things crossing borders. Sharing knowledge & resources across jurisdictions is critical. Find out how GCI is improving wildfire management through @EPPR_Arctic & @CAFFSecretariat: ow.ly/ngDi50CxRKE https://t.co/VjAzCLuCfX November 30 5:50 pm

Focus: Arctic biodiversity

Red Knots. Photo: Morten Ekker
Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI)
The Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) is a project designed to improve the status and secure the long-term sustainability of declining Arctic breeding migratory bird populations.
Overview
Actions for Arctic Biodiversity 2013-2021
Implementing the recommendations of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment.
Overview
Arctic Biodiversity Data Service
The ABDS is an online tool to house, collect, display and search for Arctic biodiversity related data, maps and graphics for decision making.
Overview
Mitigation of black carbon and methane emissions from APG flaring in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation
A study on flaring of associated petroleum gas in the Russian Arctic shows that significant economic and environmental gains can be achieved if Best Available Technology (BAT) and Best Environmental P...
Overview
Protection from Invasive Species
The Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS) Strategy and Action Plan sets forth the priority actions that the Arctic Council and its partners are encouraged to take to protect the Arctic region from a s...
Overview
Marine Biodiversity Monitoring
Arctic marine environments are experiencing, or expected to experience, many human-induced and natural pressures.
Overview