SDWG PROJECTS Completed 2013-2015
This project builds on the outcomes and recommendations of the Nuuk Hope and Resilience seminar (2009) and enhances the evidence base to promote mental wellness in circumpolar communities. Two research teams assessed circumpolar approaches to mental wellness and the potential for adapting interventions to other regions. A workshop was held in Tromsø, Norway in May 2014 followed by a symposium in Iqaluit, Canada in March 2015 in order to provide a forum to present findings, transfer knowledge, foster collaboration, and showcase best practices.
Co-leads: Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, Norway, Russian Federation, United States, ICC
This initiative builds on the results of Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) Parts A and B, to facilitate the ongoing exchange and dissemination of information on adaptation. An online portal was created, to be hosted by the University of Alaska – Fairbanks, focusing on providing access to innovative approaches to climate change adaptation and enhancing adaptive capacity.
Co-leads: Canada, United States, AIA, GCI
Responding to the Kiruna Declaration (2013) and the SAO Report to Ministers (2013), the Integrating Traditional and Local Knowledge initiative aims to develop recommendations for the consistent and practical integration of Traditional and Local Knowledge into the work of the Arctic Council. Building on deliberations from two workshops held in Reykjavik and Ottawa, and in consultation with the SDWG HoDs and the Arctic Council’s WGs and TFs, the co-leads developed seven recommendations for the integration of Traditional and Local Knowledge into Arctic Council work.
Co-leads: Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, United States, AIA, GCI
The Assessing, Monitoring and Promoting Arctic Indigenous Languages project included the first steps towards the development of an indigenous-driven assessment tool, an analysis of best practices in language policy, an assessment of the state of language acquisition and further development of the www.arcticlanguages.org website. All of these efforts have produced important research results. A symposium, with strong youth participation, was held in February 2015 to present the project’s findings and facilitate knowledge transmission.
Co-leads: ICC, Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, United States
The project is designed to expand the findings of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) to include Inuit reflections on sea ice use and shipping. Workshops, expanded surveys, reviews of existing sources of information and interviews with Inuit hunters provided a pan-Inuit perspective, culminating in the publication of The Sea Ice Never Stops: Circumpolar Inuit Reflections on Sea Ice Use and Shipping in Inuit Nunaat.
Co-leads: ICC, Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, United States
The goal of the EALLIN project is to maintain and further develop sustainable reindeer husbandry in the Arctic while simultaneously working towards the vision of creating a better life for circumpolar reindeer herders. This project brings the voice of reindeer herding youth to the forefront to highlight challenges, opportunities and areas for change to make reindeer herding a sustainable and fulfilling livelihood for generations to come. Numerous workshops and consultations were held, culminating in a report that centralizes findings from across the Arctic.
Co-leads: Norway, Russian Federation, Saami Council
Building on the Taking Wing conference (2002), Gender and Equality in the Arctic: Current Realities and Future Challenges promotes extensive policy-relevant dialogue on gender-equality issues in the Arctic region. A conference held in Akureyri, Iceland in October 2014 brought together government representatives, policy makers, academics, business, community representatives, non-governmental organizations and others. The conference focused on the living conditions of men and women throughout the circumpolar North, addressing key issues including access to and control over resources, representation in decision-making, political participation, regional development, human security, and material and cultural wellbeing. A report on conference outcomes was produced, laying the foundation for a formal cooperation network of stakeholders focused on gender equity in the Arctic.
Co-leads: Iceland, Finland, Kingdom of Denmark, Norway, AIA
The Review of Cancer among Circumpolar Indigenous Peoples addresses cancer as an emerging health concern among circumpolar Indigenous Peoples, and recognizes the need for effective prevention and control measures through reliable surveillance data. Drawing on regional data specific to Indigenous populations, this project reviewed the patterns and trends of cancer among Arctic Indigenous Peoples.
Co-leads: Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, ICC
SDWG PROJECTS Completed 2011-2013
The Arctic Human Health Initiative (AHHI) was submitted to the International Polar Year (IPY) International Program Office as an Arctic Council and a US led SDWG and IPY coordinating project that aimed to serve as a focal point for human health research, education, outreach, and communication activities during IPY (2007-2009). The overall goal of the AHHI was to: “Increase awareness and visibility of human health concerns of Arctic peoples, foster human health research, and promote health strategies that will improve health and well being of all Arctic residents”. Project activities included:
- Expanding research networks that enhance surveillance and monitoring of health issues of concern to Arctic peoples, and increased collaboration and coordination of human health research;
- Fostering research that examines the health impact of anthropogenic pollution, rapid modernization and economic development, climate variability, infectious and chronic diseases, intentional and unintentional injuries;
- Promoting education outreach and communication that focuses public and political attention on Arctic health issues. This includes using a variety of publications, printed and electronic reports from scientific conferences, symposia, and workshops targeting researchers, students, communities, and policy makers;
- Promoting the translation of research into health policy, community action including implementation of prevention strategies and health promotion.
This project was a comparative analysis of port and airport infrastructure in all Arctic States. AMATII was a direct response to the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA). It is a tool the Arctic States can use to guide their own policy and development decisions related to infrastructure development. The project fostered circumpolar cooperation by identifying areas of overlap and opportunities for technical cooperation and complementary infrastructure support. As human activity in the Arctic increases, AMATII has provided important information to inform northern development and partnership. Please visit: http://www.arcticinfrastructure.org/.
The project developed a short list of 20-30 cultural heritage sites in the Arctic which are of particular international importance. While each Arctic nation already has a process for ranking and a management strategy for its own national sites, the project aim was to identify sites that have significance which transcends national boundaries. In addition the project aimed to present a Statement of Best Practice for the protection and preservation of these designated sites along the lines of the World Heritage (WH) standard for the protection and management of WH Sites. The Statement is presented in this report and it is hoped that the principles stated there will contribute towards ensuring excellent management of the listed sites and of other important sites not on the list. Read the full report HERE.
The first ASI project was formulated to fill a critical gap in knowledge identified by the AHDR on the construction of social indicators to help facilitate monitoring of changes in human development. The AHDR identified domains of particular relevance to Arctic residents important to incorporate in measuring human development in the Arctic. Guided by the AHDR, the first phase of ASI identified a set of Arctic-specific indicators to monitor Arctic human development and quality of life in the Arctic. The next step, which constitutes ASI-II Implementation project, aims to implement the identified indicators, through testing, validating and refining the indicators across the Arctic, and then measuring and performing analyses of select cases, with the ultimate goal of moving toward to adoption by Arctic governments and the Arctic Council of the indicators for the purpose of long-term monitoring of human development. Please click HERE to read the full report.
The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) 2009 Report reviewed environmental impacts and threats from current and future Arctic marine shipping activities. It included a recommendation for the Arctic States to identify areas of heightened ecological and cultural significance in light of changing climate conditions and increasing multiple marine uses, and where appropriate, to encourage the implementation of measures to protect these areas from the impacts of Arctic marine shipping. In response, an AMSA IIC project was established with Norway, Canada, Denmark/Greenland, and the USA as lead countries, and with assistance from AMAP (the Arctic Council working group on Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program), CAFF (the Arctic Council working group on the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna) and SDWG (the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group). A group of core-drafters were selected to carry out the work of identifying and describing the areas of heightened ecological significance. Part A of this report describes the areas identified as being of heightened ecological significance, while Part B describes the areas identified as being of heightened cultural significance (the work associated with Part B was undertaken by SDWG). Please click HERE to read the full report.
Part (A) of the AACA considers the key findings and recommendations from existing Arctic Council assessments and other relevant national and international reports over the past ten years to determine how these can contribute to and inform adaptation options for Arctic countries. The completion of this initiative was undertaken under the leadership of Sweden’s Sustainable Development Working Group Chair with the assistance of Canada. To see the full report, click HERE.
Projects of SDWG Interest
The Arctic Council commitment to CSR was reiterated in the Kiruna Declaration (2013) where the Ministers “[welcomed] the Arctic Council’s work on corporate social responsibility and sustainable business, and [encouraged] enterprises operating in the Arctic to respect international guidelines and principles”.
The links below provide further information about work undertaken by the Arctic Council to promote Corporate Social Responsibility in the Arctic.