AMAP and the Arctic Council

AMAP is the Arctic Council Working Group mandated to monitor and assess the status of the Arctic region with respect to pollution and climate change by documenting the levels and trends, pathways and processes, and effects on ecosystems and humans, and to propose actions to reduce associated threats for consideration by governments. AMAP produces sound science-based, policy-relevant assessments and public outreach products to inform policy and decision-making processes.

In September 1989, on the initiative of the government of Finland, officials from the eight Arctic countries met in Rovaniemi, Finland, to discuss cooperative measures to protect the Arctic environment. This initiative resulted in the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (June 1991), a declaration on the protection of Arctic environment. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) was established in 1991 to fulfil parts of the AEPS.

The Arctic Council is a high-level forum for political discussions on common issues to the governments of the Arctic States and its inhabitants. It is the only circumpolar forum for political discussions on Arctic issues, involving all the Arctic states, and with the active participation of its Indigenous Peoples. The Arctic Council was established on 19 September 1996 with the signing of the Ottawa Declaration as a development of the cooperations initiated through the AEPS. 

The regular work of the Arctic Council is conducted through Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) appointed by Arctic States to represent their interests in the Arctic Council. SAOs are governmental representative, usually from a member states' Ministry of Foreign Affairs acting in accordance with the decisions and instructions of the Arctic Council Foreign Ministers. The Chairmanship of the Arctic Council rotates among member states every two-years following the (biannual) Arctic Council Ministerial meetings.

The AMAP Working Group reports to the Arctic Council through the SAOs and works to a mandate and workplan approved by the Arctic Council.