The picture on the right shows six current Working Group Chairs, five current Working Group executive secretaries, and two incoming Working Group Chairs, preparing to assume their duties. From left to right, Jens-Peter Holst Andersen, Ulrik Westman, Bernard Funston, Lars-Otto Reiersen, Soffía Guðmundsdóttir (PAME Executive Secretary), Renée Sauvé (PAME Chair), Tom Barry, Patti Bruns, Martin Forsius, Reidar Hindrum, Amy Merten, Pekka Shemeikka, and Roberta Burns.
Below is a press release from the Arctic Council after the meeting.
Juneau, Alaska, U.S.A.
Thursday, 9 March 2017
Senior officials from the Arctic Council’s eight Member States and six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations (PPs) met in Juneau in preparation for the upcoming Fairbanks Ministerial meeting, which will take place on 11 May 2017.
"At this week's meeting we reviewed the impressive body of work completed by the Working Groups and Task Forces over the past two years. These initiatives underlined the significant and growing role the Arctic Council plays in the sustainable development and environmental protection of the Arctic, and its work to improve the lives of those in Arctic communities. The meeting also leaves us poised for a successful Ministerial meeting in May, when the Chairmanship of the Council will transfer from the United States to Finland," said Ambassador David Balton, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials.
At this meeting, the Senior Arctic Officials approved and welcomed a wide array of projects and reports of the Council’s Working Groups and Task Forces in preparation for the upcoming Ministerial meeting, including:
- The “State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report,” a comprehensive report on the status and trends of marine biodiversity and monitoring in Arctic marine areas,
- The “Arctic Protected Areas Indicator Report,” an inventory of terrestrial and marine protected areas that summarizes the status and trends towards achieving global protected area targets,
- The “Arctic Regional Reception Facilities Plan,” a proposed waste management plan for ship-generated wastes intended to help the Arctic States meet their obligations under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and standards linked to the new Polar Code,
- Survey results and policy recommendations on the OneHealth approach,
- A searchable database of equipment assets available for response to emergencies in the Arctic,
- An update of the report “Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic,” and
- A project to reduce emissions of black carbon from a diesel-fueled, off-grid power source at a reindeer farm in the Russian Arctic.
Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, also attended the meeting, providing an update on the IMO’s Polar Code. The Arctic Council Observers also delivered brief remarks during the meeting.
At the meeting, Finland unveiled the program for its 2017-2019 Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which focuses on addressing the effects of climate change and fostering sustainable development. The proposed priorities include environmental protection, meteorological cooperation, connectivity, and education in the Arctic.