IASC Vice President Paula Kankaanpää (Director of the Marine Research Centre of the Finnish Environment Institute) recently represented IASC at the Arctic Environment Ministers' Meeting (AEMM) in Rovaniemi, Finland 11-12 October 2018.
The AEMM was part of the Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, 2017-2019. The meeting highlighted the importance of international environmental cooperation in the Arctic and aimed at drawing political attention to challenges regarding environment, climate change and sustainable development in the Arctic. Environmental cooperation has been a priority in Finland’s Arctic cooperation since its very beginning, including in the Arctic Environment Protection Strategy, a precursor to the Arctic Council.
Observations from the meeting include the following:
- Environmental cooperation is still the core activity of the Arctic Council (AC).
- Even new topics on the agenda of the AC are mostly dealt within the perspective of environment and sustainable development of the Arctic region.
- A strength of the Arctic Council is its capacity for inclusive coproduction of knowledge by international government, Indigenous peoples, and science representatives.
- The AC has a good communication capacity for needs of actions that most often arise from science based assessments produced by the working groups of the AC together with science community.
- IASC has had and should continue to have an important role in many products of the AC working groups.
Practically all the topics discussed during the meeting are relevant for the work of IASC. Broad topics included global linkages to and from the Arctic, climate change, protection of Arctic biodiversity, marine issues, building scientific consensus, and communication of that consensus beyond the science community. Materials of the meeting can be found here: http://www.ym.fi/ArcticEnv2018 & https://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/our-work2/8-news-and-events/497-aemm-article-01.
If you are interested in representing IASC at an upcoming Arctic meeting, please contact the IASC Secretariat.