ICES becomes Arctic Council observer

Observer status to the Arctic Council granted at the Council's 10th Ministerial meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska last week.
Published: 15 May 2017

​The move builds on existing ICES cooperation with the Arctic Council working groups. At present ICES is already cooperating with the Arctic Council in the joint ICES and PAME expert working group, co-chaired by Norway and USA, creating integrated environmental assessments for the Central Arctic Ocean.

"We welcome this opportunity to work together with the Arctic Council and its working groups, and see how we can add value through our scientific work", said Anne Christine Brusendorff, the General Secretary of ICES.

"While all ICES member countries are also members of the Arctic Council, this also gives us the opportunity to work together with other observer countries."

Arctic research a top priority

ICES has prioritized research and enhancement of scientific activities in ​Arctic waters in order to better understand ecological processes and human i​mpacts in this ecosystem. The organization is currently reviewing opportunities to expand current efforts to areas ranging from the hydrography and warming of the Arctic Ocean to evaluating the environmental risks of shipping and oil and gas exploitation.

Cooperation with other organizations in the Arctic is seen as an important part of contributing to key areas, such as integrated observing systems and ecosystem assessments, survey coordination, and maritime spatial planning.

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​Photo: Jeremy Potter, NOAA

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ICES becomes Arctic Council observer

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