The Circle

Finland takes the chair

© smudge9000 / CC / flickr

We frequently address changes taking place in the Arctic –changes to climate, waters, human activities and wildlife – which are occurring in this region at unprecedented speed. One constant throughout these changes has been the government of Finland’s recognition of the need to work on them collaboratively through the Arctic Council.

In this issue

Change continues apace in the Arctic – faster than anywhere else on the planet. Monitoring, mitigating and managing that change will be Finland’s chief concern as it takes its turn chairing the Arctic Council for the next two years.

Find out how it plans to do that, and how other Arctic countries, Permanent Participants – the six Indigenous groups represented at the Council – and the non-Arctic Observer states intend to be involved in this mandate.

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Dmitry-Deshevykh / WWF-Russia

Scoring the Arctic Council

This first WWF Arctic Council Conservation Scorecard looks at the extent to which Arctic States have implemented Arctic Council direction nationally, and whether the Arctic Council has delivered agreed-upon commitments through its own work.

Arctic Council

Permanent Participants weigh in

Indigenous peoples’ organizations are permanent participants in the Arctic Council. Here, some of the organizations share their views on the coming Finnish chairmanship.


Support for Finland

Finland is preparing to take over the Chairmanship in an increasingly uncertain political situation. EIRIK SIVERTSEN says it is Finland’s job to ensure cooperation continues on climate-related challenges, and on economic and political development of the region.

Early adopters

The Netherlands is one of the longest-standing observers at the Arctic Council – since 1996 – and at its predecessor, the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS). KEES RADE and JORDEN SPLINTER look at how this small non-Arctic country contributes to the sustainable development of the North, The Netherlands’ niches and strengths in this region, and how it views the incoming Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

Iceland on deck

Iceland will follow Finland as Chair of the Arctic Council in 2019 and has already begun consultations on its programme. For Iceland, the Arctic is a key foreign policy priority but it is also important in the domestic realm. ARNI THOR SIGURDSSON notes that development there will have great impact on the health and well-being of its communities and inhabitants.

The Circle is a magazine produced by the WWF Global Arctic Programme. Our goal is to inform decision-makers, scientists and the interested public about Arctic environmental and development issues.
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