Midterm Update


The United States has entered the second year of its Arctic Council Chairmanship under the theme: One Arctic: Shared Opportunities, Challenges and Responsibilities. The Council’s 2015-2017 workplan contains a slew of initiatives aimed at promoting Arctic Ocean safety, security, and stewardship, improving economic and living conditions throughout the Arctic and addressing the impacts of climate change. Under the U.S. Chairmanship, the Arctic Council is also taking concrete steps to continue strengthening itself as an intergovernmental forum, prioritizing long-term initiatives, and raising public awareness of the Arctic. The following list highlights some of the midterm accomplishments and on-going work of the Arctic Council under the leadership of the U.S. Chairmanship. Additional information on the initiatives outlined below can be found on the Arctic Council’s website and in the U.S. Chairmanship Project Primer.


Looking Ahead

Raising Public Awareness

  • The Fulbright Arctic Initiative is supporting 17 scholars from the eight Arctic States who are researching the impact of change in the Arctic and engaging in collaborative thinking, analysis, and innovative problem solving around the issues of water, infrastructure, energy, and health.
  • The year-long “Our Arctic Nation” blog is exploring how each U.S. state contributes to America’s identity as an Arctic nation. Each week, an entry highlights the Arctic connections - cultural, environmental, economic, or other - of a different U.S. state, authored by an individual or organization with ties to both the featured state and the Arctic.
  • The U.S. Arctic Youth Ambassador (AYA) Program, created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Alaska Region) and the State Department in partnership with Alaska Geographic, is bringing together 22 young Alaskans between the ages of 17-21 to amplify the youth perspective on the Arctic and strengthen connections among regional youth. The AYAs participate in media interviews, public speaking events, social media activities, and engagements with local, national, and international leaders.

Inquiries on specific initiatives should be addressed to the relevant Arctic Council subsidiary body:

Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP):
Chair Ulrik Westman, Ulrik.Westman@naturvardsverket.se,

Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
Chair Martin Forsius, martin.forsius@ymparisto.fi

Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
Chair Reidar Hindrum, reidar.hindrum@miljodir.no

Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR)
Chair Amy Merten, amy.merten@noaa.gov

Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME)
Chair Renée Sauve, Renee.Sauve@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)
Chair Roberta Burns, burnsrr@state.gov

Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation (TFAMC)
Co-Chairs Brian Israel, IsraelBR@state.gov; Kjell Kristian Egge, kke@mfa.no; and Jóhann Sigurjónsson, johann@hafro.is

Task Force on Telecommunications Infrastructure in the Arctic (TFTIA)
Co- Chairs Niels Andersen, na@space.dtu.dk and Bo Andersen, bo.andersen@spacecentre.no

Scientific Cooperation Task Force (SCTF)
Co-Chairs Evan Bloom, bloomet@state.gov and Vladimir Barbin, VBarbin@mid.ru

Black Carbon and Methane Expert Group (BCMEG)
Chair Karen Florini, FloriniKL@state.gov

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