The Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council recently held their second meeting of 2019 in Ísafjörður, Iceland. SDWG delegates and partners discussed proposals, updates, and deliverables to the 2019 Arctic Council Ministerial on SDWG projects. As the first meeting of the Icelandic Chairmanship, this meeting mostly reported on outcomes from the Ministerial this spring and proposals for the coming two years. With a focus on youth in the Arctic, the meeting was preceded by an afternoon dialog event in Reykjavík on the subject of “Strengths, Well-Being and Engagement of Youth in the Arctic.” 

A selection of project proposals which were presented include continuation of the successful EALLU project, exploration of how to support blue bio-economy development, the Arctic Renewable Energy Networks, and a project “Local 2 Global” focusing on suicide prevention in the Arctic. Updates were shared on the Arctic Renewable Energy Atlas, the OneHealth program, CREATeS which focuses on digital storytelling, Gender Equality in the Arctic, the Arctic Food Innovation Cluster, and more.

Projects in development include economic assessment of activities in the north, an assessment of solid waste management in the Arctic, and a follow-on survey of living conditions in the Arctic. Special discussion focused around supporting youth in the Arctic, including contributions by youth from Ísafjörður. Two discussions also focused around further engagement with the Social, Economic and Cultural Expert Group (SECEG) and the Arctic Human Health Expert Group (AHHEG).

For more coverage, the SDWG Secretariat was also tweeting from the meeting with highlights, photos, and ongoing activities.

IASC is an Observer to the Arctic Council and as such supports the work of the Arctic nations, Permanent Participants, and the Arctic Council Working Groups. If you are interested in engaging with the work of the Arctic Council through IASC, please get in touch with the IASC Secretariat