Paris and the Arctic

Some ARCTIC pieces of interest from this past week:

Study: Alaska to lose much of its shallow permafrost by century’s end, Yereth Rosen, ADN

COP21 and the Arctic: What’s at Stake?, Victoria Herrmann, The Arctic Institute

COP21 and the Arctic: Adaptation, Damage, and the Work to be Done, Victoria Herrmann, the Arctic Institute

COP21: Why are we leaving the Arctic out in the cold?, Tahnee Prior and Whitney Lackenbauer, Nunatsiaq Online

Climate Change Through an Arctic Lens, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson (Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs), Huffington Post

Inuit Circumpolar Council: COP21 Position Paper, summary and full text on the Arctic Portal

And President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s ROLLING STONE interviews, in one place:

Obama Takes on Climate Change: The Rolling Stone Interview (September 23)

John Kerry on Climate Change: The Fight of Our Time (December 1)

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Esau Sinnok representing his community in Paris

Here is some inspiration to kick off your Friday–look at Esau’s smile! He is a really incredible advocate as you’ll read and he gives us lots of hope. Excited that he is representing Alaska and his community in Paris.

Esau Sinnok with Arctic Council

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Finland: Saami indigenous people disregarded

The Saami of northern Europe are facing threats from all sides. Timber, pulp and mining companies are crowding into their ancestral land, clearing the boreal forests and destroying their livelihoods. Enough is enough: tell Finland to finally adopt the International Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ILO 169).

By Rainforest Rescue*

Rainforest Rescue article re-posted in Pressenza May 11, 2015

click link to read the  entire article

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Administration Gives Shell Conditional Approval

Shocked to read in yesterday’s NYT

“Administration Gives Conditional Approval for Shell to Drill in Arctic”

New York Times May 11 Article

Demonstrators in Seattle last month marched in protest of an oil rig leased by Shell that is bound for the Arctic Ocean. Credit Jason Redmond/Reuters

Demonstrators in Seattle last month marched in protest of an oil rig leased by Shell that is bound for the Arctic Ocean. Credit Jason Redmond/Reuters

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March 2015 Update


  • In 2014 Canada took the lead in conducting the first exercise in implementing the 2013 Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution agreement by testing and updating the information and procedures for notifying agencies in other Arctic countries of a major oil spill and requesting assistance. During the upcoming two years of the U.S. Council chairship the U.S. Coast Guard will request each Arctic state to identify its two highest risk oil spill scenarios and conduct a second exercise based on one of the scenarios identified. The U.S. is also taking the lead in inventorying the types of equipment and materials held by each country that may be available for assisting others in responding to a major oil spill in Arctic waters.
  • The Arctic Council’s Working Group on Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response has proposed a Circumpolar Oil Spill Gap Analysis to assess the extent to which Arctic conditions may inhibit or absolutely prevent oil spill response operations in particular locales and particular seasons, provide a common, Arctic-wide framework for assessing risks.
  • Led by the Aleut International Association, Inuit Circumpolar Conference and the Saami Council, Arctic Council working groups are developing a project to identify best practices for agencies, industries and others in engaging Indigenous and local communities in decisions that may affect them and the Arctic environment. Also under consideration is updating those sections of the 2009 Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines dealing with the environmental monitoring of operations, waste management, discharges of chemicals and air emissions.
  • The Arctic Council Task Force on Oil Pollution Prevention has completed most of its work in drafting a Framework Plan for Cooperation on Prevention of Oil Pollution from Petroleum and Maritime Activities in the Marine Areas of the Arctic and hopes to present the document at the April 2015 meeting of the Arctic foreign ministers. The document is weaker than many Arctic Council Observers, including the CCU and World Wildlife Fund, believe is needed, but it is hoped that it will nevertheless lead to worthwhile exchanges of information.
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