News Archive

forsiðaThe PAME I 2016 meeting was held in Stockholm, Sweden, in the beginning of February. The meeting gathers the working groups delegates from the eight Arctic Council member states, permanent participants, observer states and invited experts. Around 70 people participated in the meeting and in expert groups meetings.

Click here to download the PAME I 2016 meeting report.

The meeting produces a report stating the Records of decisions (RoDs). They also indicate status of specific projects and next steps. The meeting report includes the RoDs, the list of participants, the meeting agenda and the list of documents at the meeting.

Click here to download the PAME I 2016 meeting report.

Four PAME expert groups met and worked on specific issues in Stockholm, the Shipping expert group, the Marine Protected Areas expert group, the Oil and Gas contact group and the joint Ecosystem Approach to management expert group. The expert group on Arctic Shipping Traffic Data was also represented, working on its project on collecting ship traffic data. The expert groups met on Sunday, the PAME meeting was held on Monday through Wednesday. Many delegates also particpated in the Arctic Council Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation, held on Thursday and Friday.

he picture below is from the PAME meeting in Stockholm, courtesy of Dana Eidsness:

22228492948 9797a952b2 hRepresentatives from the eight Arctic States and the Permanent Participants (six organizations representing Arctic Indigenous peoples) met in Anchorage, Alaska on October 20-22, 2015 to advance the work of the Arctic Council.

This first plenary meeting of the Council during the U.S. Chairmanship (2015-2017) addressed:
The six Working Groups and three current Task Forces of the Arctic Council support much of this work through their research and assessments.

More wide-ranging discussions also covered:
  • The Council’s work on climate change and oceans;
  • The ways in which Traditional and Local Knowledge (TLK) is considered and used in the Council’s work;
  • Strengthening the Council’s work by defining how the Council relates to external bodies; and
  • Strengthening the capacity of the six Permanent Participant organizations to engage in, and contribute to, the Council’s work at all levels.
Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) used the occasion to approve a groundbreaking white paper on safe operation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for scientific data collection in the Arctic, as well as a collection of educational toolkits for children, which are directed towards the next generation of scientists and policymakers. In addition, SAOs made a final decision to move the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat from its present location in Copenhagen to Tromsø, Norway.

Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials Ambassador David Balton said: “The Arctic Council is rising to the challenge of meeting significantly greater expectations.  With attention on the Arctic region at an all-time high, this meeting demonstrated the ability of the Arctic Council to bring together Arctic States, Arctic Indigenous representatives and a large number of Observers to work toward a safer, healthier and sustainable Arctic.”

In addition to the official agenda, the week of the Arctic Council meetings included many complementary events hosted by the Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee and other organizations in Anchorage and around Alaska.
IMG 4304PAME has released a meeting report from its working group meeting in Tromsö. The meeting was held in September and 64 participants discussed numerous topics over the course of three days.

In addition, expert groups had side meetings in conjunction with the meeting, and a joint session with three other AC working groups was held for a half day.

The meeting report lists updates on PAME's activities, decisions from the meeting, the agenda and the list of participants.

Click here to download the meeting report.

Tblue no backgroundhe PAME Working Group is meeting in Tromsö, Norway, this week. Over 60 delegates will take part in the meeting, while numerous other meetings take part, including within PAME expert groups.

This week sees an unprecedented gathering of four of the Arctic Council’s six Working Groups at the same time. The others are ACAP (Arctic Contaminants Action Program), AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme), CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna).

While the four Working Groups will meet in parallel for much of the week, all four will come together for a session on Wednesday to discuss cross-cutting issues. The Chair of Senior Arctic Officials, Amb. David Balton, will take part in the joint meeting on Wednesday, including offering welcoming remarks.

shiparc forsiða programThe program for the ShipArc 2015 conference in Malmö later in August has been released. The event will take place from the 25-27th of August and boasts an exciting lineup of presentation, lectures and workshops.

Click here to download the program.

PAME is one of the orginising partners, along with the International Maritime Organization and the World Maritime University.

The opening address will be delivered by Mr. Koji Sekimizu, IMO Secretary-General and key note speakers include Dr. David Carlson, Dr. Lawson Brigham, Mr. Arsenio Dominguez and Dr. David VanderZwaag. The first day is devoted to key note speakers on varios different topics. The day will conclude with an icebreaker reception and a poster session.

The second day will feature six themes:
  • The Polar Code: Implementation & Compliance Assurance
  • Beyond the Polar Code
  • Arctic Governance
  • Sustainable Arctic Business Development
  • Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment
  • Training, Capacity-Building, Science & Research
The day will conclude with a summary from each session and all sessions will have panel discussions.

The third day will highlight the key points on the conference through rapporteurs and a panel discussions.

Click here to download the program.

Workshop-forsiðaPAME has released a workshop report from the Ecosystem approach expert group. The 5th EA workshop was held in Bergen, Norway, in May 2015. The focus of the workshop was on the topic of ecological objectives which is addressed through summaries and reviews of existing management objectives related to living resources and the environment in current management systems and legislation, and by reviewing the state-of-the-art in developing more comprehensive sets of ecological objectives.

Click here to download the report.

The workshop objectives were to:

1. Review existing management objectives for use of living and non-living resources, environmental protection and nature conservation in national legislation and management systems.

2. Review developments and methodologies for defining a comprehensive set of ecological objectives as a step in implementing a more holistic management approach, e.g. the EA.

3. Review/learn about the principles and values embedded in the use and management of living resources and the broader environment by indigenous peoples of the Arctic. 

Click here to download the report.

See also:

The Ecosystem Approach
EA Documents and Reports
PAME's EA Community of Practice

shutterstock 24751726PAME is co-organizing a conference on Arctic shipping with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Maritime University (WMU). ShipArc will be held in Malmö, Sweden from the 25th to the 27th of August 2015.

“The conference will be a major event for PAME and the Arctic Council this year. Preparations begun last year and the schedule is very exciting,” Soffía Guðmundsdóttir, the executive secretary of PAME said.

Amongst key speakers are leading scholars who have participated in PAME’s work. One of them is Dr. Lawson Brigham who was the co-ShipArc squareeditor of of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) and served as a vice chair of PAME from 2005-2009.

Another is David VanderZwaag, who co-leading the writing of the Governance of the Arctic Shipping chapter of the AMSA report. “We are thrilled to have such high-level participation from PAME and numerous of our experts will be attending as well. There should be dialogue among our leading people in Malmö,” Soffía said.

There are six themes to the conference. The Polar Code: Implementation & Compliance Assurance; Beyond the Polar Code; Arctic Governance; Sustainable Arctic Business soffiaDevelopment; Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment; Training, Capacity-Building, Science & Research.

“In our preparations we decided to focus on six themes for this conference. We could have chosen many others as the topic is broad, but we felt that these six themes are current and appropriate. The conference is title Safe and Sustainable shipping in a changing Arctic Environment and the scene is certainly under constant evolvement.”

“We have two themes that discuss the Polar Code which was recently adopted by the IMO. The Polar Code has been anticipated for some time and this will be the prefect venue to introduce it and discuss its role in Arctic shipping. IMO’s experts and others will present it and discussions on what happens next will take place.”

See the conference website for more information. Registration is ongoing and Malmö is only a 20-minute train ride from Copenhagen.

2015-08-03 Renee Sauve 450x300The PAME Working Group recently appointed a new chair, Renée Sauvé of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Renée has been involved with PAME for several years and will chair the working group for the next two years. At this occation, the Arctic Council website interviewed Renée, which is reposted here at the PAME website.

Q: What is your background, and how is it that you came to be the chair of PAME?
I am a biologist by training and spent the early part of my career in the Canadian Arctic. I spent a number of years involved in researching Arctic fish stocks and their habitat, and conducting impact assessments. Later I transitioned to international policy work and ended up working at Canada's foreign ministry when the Ottawa Declaration was developed and signed in 1996, formally marking the establishment of the Arctic Council. Since that time I have been part of the Canadian delegation to PAME, representing my current department - Fisheries and Oceans Canada - and in more recent years I have had the opportunity to lead Canada's delegation to PAME. It has been a while since Canada chaired PAME, and I think my technical background and long history with PAME has made me well-placed to help provide some guidance for the Working Group over the next couple of years. I’m very much looking forward to the ambitious marine agenda ahead.

Q: What element of your role as PAME chair are you most looking forward to?
As a Working Group Chair you have opportunities to interact more directly with SAOs and are a bit closer to the Chairmanship. I look forward to being more directly involved in some of the higher-profile Chairmanship priorities, and having the chance to work closely with the other Working Group Chairs. PAME has many representatives who have been involved with the Working Group for a number of years, so it is a very friendly environment and I am looking forward to working with this group of people on a forward-looking agenda.

Q: What are one or two of the most important challenges within PAME’s area of work in the years ahead?
The Arctic is very much a marine world. The vast majority of communities are coastal, and people depend on the marine environment for food, work, and transportation. The Arctic Ocean is at the center of life - including culturally - in the region, and is a key determinant of its future. However, the Arctic marine environment is demonstrating unprecedented changes, some fundamental such as changes in its chemistry – for example, ocean acidification – or emerging economic change with increased maritime activity. The challenge for PAME is to try and stay current with advice to Ministers in the face of this rapid change. These changes have also come with increased world attention on the Arctic, bringing with it growing expectations of the Arctic countries. All of this makes for a challenging work environment, trying to develop helpful guidance with respect to the conservation and use of the Arctic marine environment.

Q: How will PAME be working to tackle those challenges?
It is very important that PAME stay current on the latest science and knowledge of trends in the Arctic marine environment. Good work in this regard is happening through AMAP and CAFF (the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme and Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, both also Arctic Council Working Groups), and we really need to make sure that our marine experts are connecting with experts from the other Working Groups. There is an increased emphasis on the need to implement integrated, ecosystem approaches. I would like to advance greater cross-Working Group collaboration over the next couple of years. I would also like see advances in cross-border collaboration in the near term, linking up marine management measures, helping to show a regional picture of what the Arctic States are doing. The idea of greater regional cooperation is a particular focus during the U.S. Chairmanship through the Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation. PAME has done a good degree of work in this regard, it will be important to ensure that PAME's work is taken into account and informs the work of the Task Force.

Postcard Final front The ninth Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council took place in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada from April 24-25, 2015. This meeting marked the end of Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship (2013-2015) and the start of the US Chairmanship (2015 – 2017). Ministers of the eight Arctic states and Leaders of the six Permanent Participant organizations of the Arctic Council met, as well as the Chairs of the Arctic Council working groups.

The following are the PAME deliverables to the ministerial meeting:

Furthermore, PAME released a summary report for its 2013-2015 activities. Click here to download the summary report.

In addition PAME also released a new brochure about PAME. Click here to download the brochure.

ShipArc squareThe Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Group of the Arctic Council, The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Maritime University (WMU) are pleased to announce a call for papers for ShipArc 2015, a joint international conference on safe and sustainable shipping in a changing Arctic environment, to be held from 25 to 27 August 2015 at the WMU headquarters in Malmö, Sweden.

As an increasingly ice-diminished environment in the Arctic accelerates interest in and potential for new maritime trade routes, merchant transportation and related activities, and resource development such as mining, oil & gas exploration and fishing - all of which will involve increased shipping activity - ShipArc 2015 will provide a timely opportunity to address pressing issues regarding the rapidly changing Arctic environment.

The IMO adopted the safety components of International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) in November 2014 (the environmental components are expected to be adopted in May 2015), and safe and environmentally sound Arctic shipping has long been an important subject for PAME. The WMU plays a key role in conducting research on and building capacity in Arctic issues and governance.

As the pace of development and related activity in the Arctic marine environment challenges the world’s capacity to prepare for it in a safe and sustainable way, ShipArc 2015 will provide a timely opportunity to engage a range of stakeholders including  industry (e.g. resource development, tourism, fisheries), those most impacted by Arctic shipping (e.g., coastal communities, indigenous peoples) and those responsible for its sustainable management, in an international symposium to discuss a forward-looking regulatory, governance, research and capacity-building agenda that will define and assist with supporting safe and sustainable shipping in a changing Arctic environment.

The opening address for the event will be delivered by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. Themes to be addressed throughout the three-day event include:

•         The Polar Code: Implementation & Compliance Assurance
•         Beyond the Polar Code
•         Arctic Governance
•         Sustainable Arctic Business Development
•         Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment
•         Training, Capacity-Building, Science & Research

Call for Papers
Papers under all themes will inform and enrich the conference discussions. The abstract submission deadline is 30th of June 2015 and should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

shutterstock 202590517Details
Safe and Sustainable Shipping in a Changing Arctic Environment (ShipArc​ 2015)
Date: 25-27 August 2015
Location: Malmö, Sweden
Conference website:​

Interested journalists will be approved to cover the conference provided they have a specific commission for coverage of the event (and not just of speakers or others attending). A media pass entitles entrance to the conference and associated events. Members of the press are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. If interested in attending as a member of the press, please contact WMU Communications Officer, Maia Brindley Nilsson,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The World Maritime University
The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden is a postgraduate maritime university founded in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. The aim of WMU is to further enhance the objectives and goals of IMO and IMO member states around the world through education, research, and capacity building to ensure safe, secure, and efficient shipping on clean oceans. WMU is truly an organization by and for the international maritime community.

Contact: Maia Brindley Nilsson
Communications Officer
World Maritime University
(+46) 40 356314
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The Arctic Council
The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic. It has eight member countries: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.  (​)

PAME Working Group of the Arctic Council
The Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) is one of six Working Groups of the Arctic Council that provides a unique forum for collaboration amongst Arctic member governments, its six Permanent Participant organizations, accredited Observers and other Arctic stakeholders, on a wide range of activities focused on protection of the Arctic marine environment, all of which contribute to the advancement of the Council’s agenda.  (​)

International Maritime Organization (IMO)
As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented. (