On April 28th former US Vice-President and Nobel Prize Laureate Al Gore, the foreign ministers of those states affected by melting ice and snow as well as climate change scientists gathered in the conference “Melting Ice – Regional Dramas, Global Wake-Up Call” to discuss and update the effects of melting ice in the Arctic and Antarctic and in high-latitude areas such as the Andes and the Himalaya. The conference concluded that the effects of melting ice occur much more rapidly than expected in the 2004 ACIA Report. The findings of the conference underline the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to take affirmative action to find means of adaptation to global warming, especially in the Arctic areas. Please click here to download the conference summary.

On April 29th the Arctic Council came together for its 6th ministerial meeting consisting of the ministers of the eight Arctic states and the representatives of the Council’s Permanent Participants. The ministers were provided with recommendations from the Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) to strengthen the Arctic Council’s role as a circumpolar and global leading figure concerning Arctic issues and to enhance the cooperation and processes in this regard. In their report to the ministers the SAOs stressed furthermore that resource extraction in the Arctic must be exercised in a sustainable way. The ministerial meeting addressed several pressing issues in the Arctic, inter alia the challenges of climatic changes and the associated increasing access to Arctic waters, human health and development or the administration and organization of the Arctic Council.

To find more information and press releases, please go to the Arctic Council’s website. The Arctic Council’s Tromsø Declaration can be downloaded here.