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Russian Foreign Minister to not attend AC Ministerial Meeting
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Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 10:46

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov (photo:  Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov (photo: News reported today that Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lovrov, will not attend the next Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Iqaluit (Canada) on April 24th and 25th. The meeting will mark the conclusion of Canada's chairmanship and the beginning of the US chairmanship, while ministers of the eight Arctic States and the high representatives of the six indigenous people organizations will highlight Canada chairmanship's achievements and set objectives for the coming two-years period.
A spokesperson from the Russian embassy in Ottawa wrote in a brief note that "Due to Lavrov's prior commitments, as well as extraordinary recent international developments which require his personal involvement, the Russian delegation at the Arctic Council ministerial meeting will be headed by Sergei Donsko", the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation.
While it has happened before that AC Member States have delegated representatives other than their own Foreign Affairs Ministers to attend the AC Ministerial Meetings, Russia's decision has raised many speculations, especially within Canadian media, due to the "icy" relation between the two countries since the Ukrainian crisis. As reported by, for example, "Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in global politics and international law at the University of British Columbia, says that's because of the council's recent focus on domestic issues and not due to recent tension between Canada and Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. You can't really blame him for saying 'I don't need to be there,'" says Byers. "The Russians don't consider that anything important about foreign policy will be done in Iqaluit.""



Source: .Nunatsiaq Online, CBC


Request for Proposals: Executive Secretary of the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group
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Written by Federica   
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 09:27

Logo of the Sustainable Development Working Group Logo of the Sustainable Development Working Group The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) invites you to submit a proposal for the following work:

Executive Secretary of the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group.

To secure one full-time resource to fulfill the responsibilities of the Executive Secretary of the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group.

The proposal must identify one 1 candidate under this RFP. The submission is to consist of a written proposal that facilitates a clear and straightforward evaluation based on the information requested. The candidate must include their current curriculum vitae (CV) in their Proposal. At a minimum, the candidate must have earned a Bachelor's degree from a recognized university. A copy of the university degree or an official transcript with the university seal must be provided.

 The candidate must demonstrate, through their proposal, a minimum of five 5 years experience in the past ten 10 years providing strategic, logistical, administrative, and technological support. Consistent with the Statement of Work, this experience must include:

• Providing strategic support and advice to advance organizational priorities and initiatives;
• Managing communications to advance priorities in a multilateral environment with diverse perspectives;
• Developing and ensuring the timely submission of professional, documents, including correspondence, briefings, presentations, reports, and outreach materials;
• Planning and organizing multi-stakeholder meetings under a professional setting;
• Managing and archiving of records and documents, including meeting and project documents;
• Working with emerging technologies for promotional work, including experience with managing websites;
• Demonstrated examples of interpersonal skills including working collaboratively with Indigenous Peoples or with culturally diverse groups of stakeholders;
• Demonstrated examples of providing organizational efficiency and improving workflow;
• Demonstrated examples of judgment and quality work in a multi-stakeholder setting
The candidate must include within their bid one (1) sample of their written work (maximum 1000 words).
The candidate must include within their bid one (1) completed M3 Reference Form, with affirmative responses. (Annex ''C'')
The candidate must include within their bid two (2) completed M4 Reference Forms, completed by two (2) impartial references. The form must affirm that the candidate satisfactorily managed a project of at least six (6) months in duration within the past five (5) years, with "yes" answers to each question. The Reference Forms must be for two separate projects. (Annex ''D'')

Application closes on 19 May 2015.


Please click here for any additional information. 

Michael Evan Goodsite's lecture at UNAK
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Written by Federica   
Monday, 13 April 2015 08:48

Michael E. GoodsiteMichael E. GoodsiteProfessor Michael Evan Good Site has a background as an elite officer in the US Army and NATO, and today is climate expert and head of the Department of Technology and Innovation, SDU and an adjunct professor at the The University of Iceland as well as Director of the Nordic Center of Excellence for Strategic Adaptation Research NCoE NORD-STAR and head of the Sino-Nordic Arctic Policy Programme at ISDP, Sweden. His research aims to integrate sensible business and engineering adaptive management strategies as a means of addressing global climate change issues through mitigation, adaptation and environmental cost and risk analysis at the local governmental level, thus ensuring sustainable and secure adaptation of societies. His particular focus is on aligning societal prosperity while minimizing environmental impact in cities and remote areas. His current research efforts are with NATO and the US Army and focused on Green Defense. 

In occasion of his two-days visit to Akureyri, Iceland, Dr. Goodsite will give a lecture at the University of Akureyri on: "Earth's resources are limited, and all know that we need to save energy and be better to use green technology. But it's probably not many people who know that the military can act as a catalyst for social change in the climate field. The large military bases are managed with a hierarchical structure that makes them ideal for testing new ideas, for example. in green technologies. New technologies are quickly introduced, tested and tried. The experience can be shared with the rest of society."


Michael Evan Goodsite's lecture will be on Tuesday, 14th April 2015, at the University of Akureyri, room N101. The lecture will be open for the public. 



WWF's Recommendations for the Arctic Council
Other News
Written by Federica   
Friday, 10 April 2015 09:33

Polar Bears (photo:GettyImages)Polar Bears (photo:GettyImages)WWF has recently released a statement on WWF's position and recommandations for the 2015  Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council, which will take place in Iqaluit next 24th April. During the meeting, which takes place every two years in different locations, particpants will outline objectives and priorities for the Arctic Council for the following two years, highlight Canada chairmanship's achievements, and mark the beginning of  the United States' chairmanship (2015-2017).  While "decisions at all levels in the Arctic Council are the exclusive right and responsibility of the eight Arctic States with the involvement of the Permanent Participants", yet observers, as WWF, may attend the meetings, observe the works of the Council, propose projects, and, in meetings of the Council's subsidiary bodies, present written statements, submit relevant documents and provide views on the issues under discussion. 

WWF is one of the eleven Non-governmental organizations that have been granted observer status in the Arctic Council over the years. As reported by the WWF web-site, the main points of the statment are: 

Focus on a "new Ocean"
Ominous new records in Arctic sea ice extent and volume have become a regular occurrence. A progressively more ice-free ocean is emerging in the Arctic. Arctic states must cooperate and take practical actions to protect Arctic life and minimize the risks of increasing industrial impacts.
Arctic states must:
Identify and protect marine areas of special ecological significance to improve biodiversity conservation through a representative Arctic marine protected areas network.
Design and adopt a legally binding regional seas agreement to enhance ecosystem health of the Arctic Ocean and coastal communities' wellbeing.
Empower Arctic Peoples
Many Arctic communities are currently fully dependent on dirty, expensive fossil fuels to generate electricity, power their economies and heat their homes. The Arctic Council can help Arctic communities transition to community-scale renewable energy technologies as part of a plan to reduce the impacts and risks of development while increasing local and environmental benefits.
Arctic states must:
Prioritize community-scale development including expansion of renewable energy projects that will substitute diesel and heavy fuel oil and truly benefit local peoples.
Develop a long-term (2030-2050) Arctic sustainable development vision based on downscaling of industrial projects and diversification of the Arctic economy.
Factor in the value of biodiversity conservation to improve human wellbeing in the region.
Act on Climate Change
At the first Ministerial meeting in 1998, the Arctic Council was mostly concerned with Arctic pollution issues and the related human health consequences which led to the 2001 Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants and the more recent 2013 Minamata Convention on mercury. Today, Arctic nations are facing an even more dynamic and complex set of problems related to the rapidly changing environmental, social and economic conditions of the region.
Arctic states must:
Work with observer states to drive the adoption of ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in the coming climate negotiations in Paris.
Work with observer states to reduce local emissions of methane and black carbon.
Develop tools to improve the resilience of Arctic peoples and ecosystems to adapt to Arctic changes.
Identify all sorts of subsidies to hydrocarbon development in the Arctic and reallocate at least 50% of them to support renewable energy solutions for Arctic communities.


You can read WWF full recommendations here.



Sixth Polar Law Yearbook available at Brill
Other News
Written by Federica   
Thursday, 09 April 2015 10:16

YPL6Yearbook of Polar Law 6The sixth edition of the Polar Law Yearbook is now available at Brill

Since 2009, when the first Polar Law Symposium was held in Nuuk, the Polar Law Yearbook collects together articles written by different authors on Arctic and Antarctic issues. While some of the articles are submitted directly to the Yearbook, others are based on presentations made at the Sixth Symposium on Polar Law that was held in Akureyri, Iceland, in October 2013.


Editors-in-Chief: Professor Gudmundur Alfredsson, University of Akureyri, Iceland, and China University of Political Science and Law,
Professor Timo Koivurova, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland. Special Editor: Hjalti Ómar Ágústsson, University of Akureyri, Iceland.
The Yearbook of Polar Law, is based at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Akureyri in Iceland and the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (Arctic Centre/University of Lapland) in Finland and covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic. These include:
- human rights issues, such as autonomy and self-government vs. self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources and cultural rights and cultural heritage, indigenous traditional knowledge,
- local, national, regional and international governance issues,
- environmental law, climate change, security and environment implications of climate change, protected areas and species,
- regulatory, governance and management agreements and arrangements for marine environments, marine mammals, fisheries conservation and other biological/mineral/oil resources,
- law of the sea, the retreating sea ice, continental shelf claims,
- territorial claims and border disputes on both land and at sea,
- peace and security, dispute settlement,
- jurisdictional and other issues re the exploration, exploitation and shipping of oil, gas and minerals, bio prospecting,
- trade law, potential shipping lines through the northwest and northeast passages, maritime law and transportation law, and
- the roles and actual involvement of international organizations in the Polar Regions, such as the Arctic Council, the Antarctic Treaty System, the European Union, the International Whaling Commission, the Nordic Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations, as well as NGOs.



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