11 Facts About Arctic Council


Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic.

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The Arctic Council has conducted studies on climate change, oil and gas, and Arctic shipping.

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Arctic Council is made up of member and observer states, Indigenous "permanent participants", and observer organizations.

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However, decision-making in the Arctic Council remains in the hands of the eight-member states, on the basis of consensus.

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Arctic Council members agreed to action points on protecting the Arctic but most have never materialized.

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In 2012, the Arctic Council moved towards creating a permanent secretariat in Tromsø, Norway.

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Arctic Council working groups document Arctic problems and challenges such as sea ice loss, glacier melting, tundra thawing, increase of mercury in food chains, and ocean acidification affecting the entire marine ecosystem.

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The council is often in the middle of security and geopolitical issues since the Arctic has peculiar interests to Member States and Observers.

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Changes in the Arctic environment and participants of the Arctic Council have led to a reconsideration of the relationship between geopolitical matters and the role of the Arctic Council.

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New commercial trans-Arctic Council shipping routes can be another factor of conflicts.

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Paul Berkman suggests that solving security matters in the Arctic Council could save members the much larger amount of time required to reach a decision in United Nations.

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