The ecosystems of the Arctic, particularly in the Arctic Ocean, transcend political boundaries. Ecosystems and migration patterns cross international borders, making collaboration among Arctic states essential for management and governance. The need to work together is intensified by the sparse population and limited resources of the region.
What WWF is doing
Working with the Arctic CouncilThe Arctic Council is an international body that addresses issues that require circumarctic collaboration, like responding to oil spills, understanding the impacts of climate change, and developing common principles of responsible Arctic stewardship.
It is the primary forum for Arctic issues that cannot be managed by any single country. The Council also recognizes the critically important role of Arctic indigenous peoples, by creating a unique role for them as Permanent Participants.
WWF is the only circumpolar environmental non-governmental organization with observer status on the Arctic Council. This means WWF can attend Arctic Council meetings, propose projects, and present our views. We have an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with leaders and experts making critical decisions that will shape the future of the Arctic.
Assessing oil spill risksAs interest in offshore Arctic oil and gas development grows, the Arctic Council will be challenged to find a way to effectively manage the risks associated with this type of development. In the Arctic, a mishap in one state can quickly spread to other coastal states, making risk management a shared concern.
More about our work on oil and gas
Advocating for responsible shippingArctic shipping is on the rise, bringing new opportunities and risks to the region. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is finalizing an international code of safety for ships operating in polar waters in 2014, which would set standards for safety and sustainability for all ships in Arctic waters.
More about our work on shipping