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COVID-19 in the Arctic: A Green and Just Recovery
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The Arctic

Consisting of deep ocean covered by drifting pack ice and surrounded by continents and archipelagos around the Earth's North Pole, the Arctic is the planet's largest and least fragmented inhabited region.

Why the Arctic matters

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Home to millions
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Warming faster than anywhere else in the world
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Global interest is growing as ice melts
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Eight countries, global significance
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Vast resources are becoming available

COVID-19 disrupts Arctic beach clean-ups

The pandemic has disrupted clean-up efforts on Svalbard.

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Stories

Good news for polar bears in Canada’s Central Arctic

Polar bears in some parts of Canada are getting fatter and more numerous according to recent survey results from two of the world’s 19 polar bear subpopulations.

Published 13 November 2020

NEWS

Open Letter on the SAO Marine Mechanism to the Arctic Council

Dear Einar Gunnarsson: On behalf of WWF’s Arctic Programme, I congratulate the Icelandic Chairmanship on arranging the first-ever SAO Marine Mechanism webinar series. These webinars were an important priority of Iceland’s Chairmanship and in many ways a success. By the same token, I wish to express our concerns about the Mechanism’s substantive focus and continuity.

Published 16 November 2020

From The Circle

COVID-19 disrupts Arctic beach clean-ups

For nearly two decades, with support from the governor of Svalbard, passengers on Arctic expedition cruises have been helping with clean-up efforts in the Arctic—and the industry as a whole has been working to enhance these efforts since 2018. But with almost no expedition cruises operating during the coronavirus pandemic, this will be the first year that tourists cannot help retrieve litter from Arctic beaches. As Melissa Nacke writes, not only has the pandemic hindered clean-up efforts—it is creating new sources of pollution, such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer bottles. And this growing trash problem will be compounded by the return of single-use items that the expedition cruise industry has worked hard to eliminate.