Pollution, education and climate change resilience top agenda of Arctic Council meeting in Finland
Senior government representatives from the eight Arctic states will gather in northwestern Finland next week for the first meeting of Senior Arctic Officials to be held during Helsinki’s two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
Representatives of the six Indigenous Permanent Participant organizations, six working groups and over 30 observer states and organizations of the Arctic Council will also take part in the meeting in Oulu, which will discuss a broad range of subjects, including pollution prevention, education, and climate change resilience.
The participants of the meeting will also discuss the recently signed agreement on scientific cooperation in the Arctic and the upcoming COP23 United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, Arctic Council officials said in a statement.
“During our Chairmanship, we want to explore common solutions to common challenges in the Arctic,” SAO Chair Aleksi Härkönen said in a statement. “In this first plenary meeting we will hear about the Arctic Council’s and the Observers’ work to prevent environmental pollution and to improve educational opportunities in the Arctic and get a briefing on the activities of the Arctic Economic Council.”
Finland took over the rotating two-year Arctic Council chairmanship from the U.S. in May.
Helsinki’s priorities include environmental protection, connectivity, meteorological cooperation and education.
Finland also emphasized the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN sustainable development goals.
Established in 1996, the Arctic Council is made up of the eight Arctic States – Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States.
In addition, six organizations representing Arctic Indigenous peoples have status as Permanent Participants.
They are the Aleut International Association, the Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Gwich’In Council International, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, RAIPON (the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North), and the Saami Council.
Canada: Arctic nations sign scientific cooperation agreement, Radio Canada International
Denmark/Greenland: Ice-Blog: Deciding Arctic future in Fairbanks and Bonn, blog by Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle
Finland: Arctic Council presents united front as Finland takes over from U.S., Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: Norwegians and Icelanders let Alaskans in on the secrets to economic prosperity, Alaska Dispatch News
Norway: Establishment of Álgu Fund marks new beginning in Arctic Council, indigenous peoples say, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Arctic Council ministerial – View from Russia, Eye on the Arctic
Sweden: Sweden’s climate minister worried about Trump’s stance on global warming, Radio Sweden
United States: United States: U.S. ends Arctic Council chairmanship with reluctance on climate action, Alaska Dispatch News