Arctic Council

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 16, 2022, 9:28

The Arctic Council is a body consisting of Arctic inhabitants, indigenous communities, and Arctic states. It is also an intergovernmental forum since multiple countries are members of the Council.

The Council has been formed to allow better coordination and interactions on environmental protection and sustainable development in the ecologically sensitive Arctic region.

Arctic States Part of Arctic Council

According to the Ottawa Declaration, which is the Arctic Council's founding document, the following countries are members of the Council -

  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • The Russian Federation
  • Sweden
  • The United States

Since all of the states mentioned above have territories inside the Arctic region and surrounding the Arctic Ocean, they play key roles in the Arctic Council. The Arctic States' northern provinces host over four million people, and the Arctic Council's primary agenda is to ensure the health and well-being of people living in the region.

Besides the States mentioned above, six organisations are Permanent Participants in the Council. These organisations represent the Arctic Indigenous People.

The Permanent Participants act as the voice of the Arctic Indigenous people. They have full rights to participate in the Council's discussions and negotiations. It is also empowered to make contributions to the Council's activities in multiple areas.

The Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat facilitates peoples' participation in the projects and initiatives undertaken by the Council.

☛ Also Read: Monthly Current Affairs for UPSC

Arctic Council - Members Observed

Arctic Council observers play a crucial role in the Working Groups' operations. Presently, 32 members are observers of the Arctic Council. The observers are non-Arctic States, interparliamentary organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and international organisations.

The total number of observers is double the number of Arctic Council Permanent Participants and the Member States. The inclusion of Asian countries like Korea, China and Japan paved the way for forming the Northern Seas Network that connected the Arctic Ocean with the North Atlantic and North Pacific.

Important UPSC Topics
UPSC ExamUPSC Exam Date
UPSC NotificationUPSC Eligibility
UPSC Online ApplicationUPSC Exam Pattern
UPSC SyllabusUPSC Previous Year Question Papers
UPSC Cut OffUPSC Preparation Strategy
UPSC BooksUPSC Exam Analysis
UPSC Admit CardUPSC Results

Arctic Council - Working Groups

The Arctic Council operations are spread among six Working Groups across subjects like climate change, mental health, emergency response, and sustainable development. Here are the

  1. Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP)
  2. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
  3. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
  4. Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR)
  5. Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME)
  6. Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)

Each of the Working Groups works toward fulfilling a common goal - to make the Arctic region more sustainable by bringing all stakeholders on the same platform.

The Arctic Council has played a pivotal role in producing comprehensive and relevant social, ecological, and environmental assessments, primarily through the Working Groups. Protecting the ecologically sensitive Arctic region is crucial for the survival of humankind.

More Current Affairs Topics
Agricultural Produce Market Committee [APMC]Albedo of Earth
Asia Pacific Trade Agreement [APTA]Arab League
Difference Between Sociology and EconomicsAravalli Range
Difference Between Secularism and CommunalismArbitration Council of India
Difference Between Scheduled and Non-Scheduled BanksArchaeological Survey of India

FAQs on Arctic Council

Q1) What is the Arctic Council?

The Arctic Council is a body consisting of Arctic inhabitants, indigenous communities, and Arctic states.

Q2) Why has the Arctic Council been formed?

The Arctic Council has been formed to allow better coordination and interactions on environmental protection and sustainable development in the ecologically sensitive Arctic region.

Q3) Which the Arctic States Are Part of the Arctic Council?

According to the Ottawa Declaration, which is the Arctic Council's founding document, the following countries are members of the Council:

  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • The Russian Federation
  • Sweden
  • The United States

Q4) How many Permanent Participants are there in the Arctic Council?

Currently, six organisations are Permanent Participants in the Arctic Council. These organisations represent the Arctic Indigenous People.

Q5) Which Members are Observers of the Arctic Council?

Arctic Council observers play a crucial role in the Working Groups' operations. Presently, 32 members are observers of the Arctic Council. The observers are non-Arctic States, interparliamentary organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and international organisations.