The leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic.
Arctic Council Ministerial
Reykjavik, May 20 2021
The Arctic Council magazine
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The Arctic in Pictures: Photo Contest Winners
The Arctic Council turns 25
Explore our history
Meet the Icelandic Chairmanship
Expert groups and task forces carry out additional work.
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.
The Arctic is home to more than 21,000 known species of highly cold-adapted mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, plants and fungi and microbes.
The temperatures in the Arctic continue to rise at more than twice the global annual average.
The Arctic States hold a responsibility to safeguard the future development of the region and to develop models for stewardship of the marine environment.
The Arctic environment carries the traces of human-induced pollution – from soot to plastics, from methane to pesticides.
Harsh conditions and limited infrastructure in much of the Arctic increase risks and impacts and hinder response activities.
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.
At any given time the Council’s subsidiary bodies – the Working and Expert Groups – are engaged in close to 100 projects and initiatives.
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.
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.
The strong knowledge base produced by the Arctic Council’s Working Groups and other subsidiary bodies feeds into recommendations for informed decision-making.