About Arctic Council

“On behalf of the Danish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and the Senior Arctic Officials of Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, I wish to congratulate you on the initiative and welcome it wholeheartedly. In our opinion it will be very much in line with the communication and outreach efforts of the Arctic Council itself, and we give it our full support.”

Lars Møller
Chair, Senior Arctic Officials
Arctic Council


What is the Arctic Council?

The Arctic Council was created in 1996 as an intergovernmental body which would provide a method for discussion, negotiation, co-operation, and interactions amongst the arctic nations. Also included in the council are Arctic Indigenous communities and inhabitants who are important participants in Arctic topics. Of all the topics discussed within the Arctic Council, those surrounding protection of the environment and sustainable development remain the most important, creating solid action plans for preserving the Arctic.

Who is involved in the Arctic Council?

Member States:

  • Canada
  • Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands)
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • The Russian Federation
  • Sweden
  • The United States of America

Permanent Participants: This category was created to allow full participation and consultation with the Arctic Indigenous representatives.

  • Aleut International Association
  • Arctic Athabaskan Council
  • Gwich’in Council International
  • Inuit Circumpolar Council
  • Saami Council
  • Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON).

Observers: Beyond the member states and permanent participants, other concerned actors can join Arctic Council meetings as observers. Examples of observers include: non-arctic nations, inter-governmental and inter-parliamentary organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Observers are invited to the Ministerial meetings and other meetings/activities within the Arctic Council.

Working Groups: There are currently six working groups which provide insight and guidance to the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council also has the ability to create new working groups, task forces, or other bodies to prepare and produce programmes under the guidance of the SAOs. The six working groups are as follows:

  • Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP);
  • Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP);
  • Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF);
  • Emergency Prevention Preparedness and Response (EPPR);
  • Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME); and
  • The Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG).

More information about the Arctic Council can be found at: www.arctic-council.org