The AOR project is led by Canada, Iceland, Norway, Russia and the United States and was agreed by the Arctic Council at its 2009 Ministerial Meeting, as a follow-up to the 2004 Arctic Marine Strategic Plan which states that the Council shall:
„Periodically review the status and adequacy of international/regional agreements and standards that have application in the Arctic marine environment, new scientific knowledge of emerging substances of concern, and analyze the applicability of a regional seas agreement to the Arctic.“
The AOR is especially timely given the climatic, environmental and socio-economic changes occurring in the Arctic which can result in increased pressures on the marine and coastal environments. This project will not initiate a new assessment, but will be based on existing information and draw from existing documentation. The AOR will produce a report on the global and regional measures in place for the conservation and sustainable use of the Arctic Ocean demonstrating the Arctic Council’s environmental stewardship. This will require close cooperation with other Arctic Council working groups in additionto inputs from Arctic Council Member States, Permanent Participants, Observers and other experts.