The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Arctic Council at 20: Making a Difference Regionally

By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society
 
We all know the temperatures are rising in the Arctic twice as fast as the average rise in the rest of the world. The long-term decline in sea ice in the Arctic region could worsen and cause climate change globally. Therefore, in the past 20 years the Artic Council has a fascinating account of actions   aiming at enhancing scientific cooperation, protecting the environment  and  focusing on high level  discussion based on common issues relating to the Artic member states.  

Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø, Norway The second panel of the day included (from right to left) Karen Ellemann (Denmark's Minister for Equal Opportunities and Nordic Cooperation), Vladimir Barbin (Senior Arctic Official for the Russian Federation), Erna Solberg (Prime Minister of Norway), Juha Sipilä (Prime Minister of Finland), Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson (Minister of Foreign Affairs for Iceland), Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University), and Stephen Sackur (moderator, of the BBC).
(Photo: Arctic Council Secretariat / Linnea Nordström)

In this context the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said, “The Artic Council is more relevant and important than ever before. One of the reasons for its success is the fact that it gathers all key stake holders, including indigenous people”.  On September 19, 1996, twenty years ago in Ottawa, the Artic Council born as a high level intergovernmental forum consisting eight Arctic nations above the arctic circle. Canada, United States, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Greenland, Finland, Iceland and Sweden were the first of eight Member States of the newly-founded Arctic Council in 1996.

Two years later, in September 1998, the First Ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council was held in the Canadian town of Iqaluit. The Arctic Council Secretariat (ACS) was formally established in the Norwegian town of Tromsø in January 2013. Icelandic Secretary General of the Ministry for the Environment  and Natural Resources Magnús Jóhannesson was appointed as the first Director of the Arctic Council's Secretariat (ACS) in 2012. Altaic Council  Director  Jóhannesson has also been the chair of the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group and co-chair of the Ecosystem-based Management Experts Group of the Arctic Council.  “The Secretariat will have an important role in supporting the communication of these matters to the public at large in the Arctic Council member states as well as to the global community. I really look forward to working on these important challenges along with the staff of the new Secretariat,” said Magnús Jóhannesson, the Director of the Arctic Council's Secretariat (ACS).

Arctic Council member states approved a budget of US$ 1.3 million for 2015 to support the Arctic Council's Secretariat (ACS) annual work programmes (Arctic Council 2015). Each member state contributes an equal share to the budget which is one-eighth   of the total annual allocation.  In addition, the host country was allocated a budget of US$ 587,233 for the Arctic Council's Secretariat (ACS) in 2015  (Arctic  Council 2015).

Ten years since the Arctic Council was established, in efforts to safeguard the Arctic, the International Arctic Science Committee presented the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) in 2005. Among the other important accomplishments the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment 2013: Report for Policy Makers with nine key findings and the seventeen recommendations published in the assessment  were strongly recognized by  environmentalists ,scientists  and policymakers who had a concern about the importance of safeguarding the Arctic territory. In fact, in the past two decades, there have been many milestones.

 

Photograph: Senior Arctic Officials' meeting  in Juneau, Alaska. (Arctic Council Image: Linnea Nordström)

The Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Artic which was signed in 2011 at the Greenland Ministerial Meeting and the Agreement  on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic signed in 2013 at the Sweden Ministerial Meeting  are some  of the most successful accomplishments  undertaken in its twenty  year history.  

There are many different models of action plans implemented by the Artic Council.  The Organization secretariat oversees the development and implementation of plans and Programs of Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), Arctic Climate Assessment and Arctic Human Development Report. Over 4 million people live in the Arctic and the impact of climate change on Arctic indigenous people and rapid change of life style is a growing concern for the Arctic Council.  The Artic Council primarily focuses on four key working areas namely Artic people, the oceans, Biodiversity, Environmental and Climate issues. In 2014 the Arctic Council established the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) to facilitate business cooperation across Arctic counties. The Arctic Economic Council held a meeting in Russia for the first time, on February 8 in St. Petersburg. Indeed, despite many challenges the steps taken in the past two decades by the Arctic Council member nations had made a significant impact regionally.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

April 2017 Edition

_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Science, Technology and Environment Cooperation between South Africa and Argentina 6 April 2017 The Scientific and Technological Cooperation between South Africa and Argentina was further enhanced... <|> High Court on Dagga 6 April 2017 The Hemp, Dagga, Weed, Herb, Marijuana and a plant by any other name, Industrialisation report back presentation was full of positive excitement. Medicines,... <|> Transforming ballet in South Africa 10 April 2017 Transformation in ballet has a long way to go. In order to make the most of talent that is available in South Africa, talented dancers from all... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Commemorating 20 years of Signing the Red Fort Declaration and bidding farewell 10 April 2017 20 Years ago late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Mr HD Deve Gowda, former Prime Minister... <|> Transnet launches first ever train 4 April 2017 Transnet has officially launched it’s the first ever train which it designed, engineered and manufactured. The locomotive, which will serve the... <|> Deputy Minister Landers concludes successful working visit to Central America 7 April 2017 International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers has concluded his Working Visit... <|> Sri Lanka and South Africa pursue enhanced cooperation 18 April 2017 The Sixth Session of the Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Partnership Forum between Sri Lanka and South Africa was held in... <|> UN Designates Malala Yousafzai as Messenger of Peace 11 April 2017 United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres designated Malala Yousafzai, global advocate for girls’ education and the... <|> South Africa and Qatar explore investment opportunities 12 April 2017 Pretoria - The President of the Black Business Council, Dr Danisa Baloyi, says South Africa should take advantage of the... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.