This year, the Arctic Council celebrates 25 years of peaceful cooperation in the region. In this globally unique forum, states and Indigenous peoples work together for a sustainable Arctic. As global interest in the Arctic has grown, so has the Council. Test your knowledge on Arctic issues!
The eight Arctic States are Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States.
Ottawa, Canada lent its name to the Ottawa Declaration, which established the Arctic Council as the forum to promote “cooperation coordination and interaction” among the Arctic States and Arctic Indigenous peoples on issues like sustainable development and environmental protection.
The Chairmanship of the Council rotates between the eight Arctic States every two years.
Flaring is the process of burning off unwanted gas from industrial processes like oil production. This practice is a major environmental concern causing emissions of black carbon.
The Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) Working Group has indicated that flaring is one of the most important sources of black carbon emissions from Arctic States and that emissions that are released close to the Arctic have the strongest effect on sea ice melting.
Iceland has been the frontrunner on the Global Gender Gap Index for 11 years in a row. It’s followed by Nordic neighbours Norway, Finland and Sweden.
A team of more than 300 leading Arctic researchers, Indigenous representatives and other experts from fifteen nations worked with the Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Asessment Programme on the Assessment. They distilled and synthesised available scientific information, traditional knowledge, and Indigenous perceptions in order to examine how climate and ultraviolet radiation have changed in the Arctic, how they are projected to change in the future, and what the consequences of these changes will be for the Arctic and the world.
In many Arctic communities, a high proportion of food comes from subsistence activities: hunting, fishing and gathering. The ways in which local foods are collected and shared make up a unique cultural and social economy.
The Polar Code covers all aspects of safe shipping in Arctic and Antarctic waters, from ship design to navigation, to search and rescue and environmental protection.
By 2017, SWIPA amended its prediction to a nearly ice-free summer Arctic by the late 2030s.
Switzerland became an Arctic Council Observer in 2017, joining 12 other states outside the Arctic with an interest in Arctic issues.
The Permanent Participants are:
Aleut International Association (AIA)
Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC)
Gwich'in Council International (GCI)
Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC)
Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON)
The albedo effect describes how light materials, like snow and ice, absorb less of the sun’s heat and reflect more. Arctic ice helps to moderate temperatures around the world.
Peat, a rich mixture of organic material, is found in large quantities in the Arctic. When burned, it releases enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, worsening the climate impacts that drive increased fires in the first place.
Gwich'in Council International is bringing an effective traditional approach to fighting fire with the Circumpolar Wildland Fire project. By sharing resources and techniques, modern and traditional, the project aims to reduce catastrophic wildland fires.
Seabirds. Cetaceans, as well as some species of fish and invertebrates, have also been documented to ingest plastic litter including microplastics. Arctic ice, water, seafloor and even wildlife contain surprising amounts of microplastics.
Nearly 40 Indigenous languages are spoken in Russia’s Arctic, from Aleut in the east to Kildin Sami in the west.
2022 will mark the start of the UN’s decade of Indigenous languages. Indigenous people in Russia are represented by the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Saami Council, Aleut International Association and RAIPON.