FINAL SESSION: CONCLUDING DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The conference concluded with each panel’s presentation of recommendations for action by
the Arctic Council, governments, and institutions. Several cross‐cutting themes emerged as
central for all future work:
The Arctic Council needs to strengthen its ties with key sectors of industry and to
encourage environmental and health security cooperation across the Arctic.
The Arctic is an excellent area to improve cooperation between Russia and the Western
states. Shipping safety and infrastructure, environmental protection, energy
development, and confidence building mechanisms (CBMs) will help sustain the Arctic
as a zone of peace.
More and better data, research, and information exchange are essential in all sectors.
The Arctic Council has a key role in enhancing communication in and about the Arctic.
Human capacity building for sustainable development and improved human security is
critical. Education programs for training indigenous health care personnel and
developing community‐based health care delivery systems are the highest priority for
many areas of the Arctic. Students at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional
levels across the Arctic must have mobility to enhance their training and create new
New and expanded public‐private partnerships are essential in many sectors, including
the research needed for sustainable development and environmental protection,
especially in energy exploration, expanded shipping, and managing Arctic fisheries.
Human well‐being and safety, food security, and mental health are all related in the
Arctic and must be approached in a comprehensive fashion using interdisciplinary
Good leadership of the Arctic Council is essential. Canada and the U.S., the next two
chairs, should work together to shape the continuing evolution of the Arctic Council as a
policymaking body that is more inclusive of input from additional outside states and
organizations. Euro‐Atlantic Action Plan for Cooperation and Enhanced Arctic Security 27
ACTION RECOMMENDATIONSOF THE FIVE PANELS
1) The participation of indigenous organizations greatly strengthens the Arctic Council.
More public communication of decisions made at the Arctic Council is needed to
emphasize the importance of the Arctic to international policy. More capacity is needed
to enable permanent participants to carry out their work within the Arctic Council and
with their constituents.
2) More research is needed to better understand how Arctic indigenous societies become
resilient and adapt to climate transitions, resource extraction, and globalization and
urbanization that lead to a loss of human security and associated problems related to
mental health, loss of culture and self‐dignity, and food security.
3) Actions are needed to build capacity for more indigenous peoples to become leaders in
health care delivery and health research. Health career pathways should be culturally
acceptable, and communities must have decision‐making authority to develop a health
care system that is consonant with their culture and respects self‐determination.
1) The Arctic Council should develop a system to collect Arctic‐specific and international
data dealing with oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response, and establish a
clearinghouse for information sharing and publication of public‐ and private‐sector data.
2) The Arctic Council should seek to develop the relationship between industry and
communities; identify the public‐private partnerships that have been working to
promote sustainable communities; study the social effects of energy and mineral
development on local communities; work with industry to identify best practices; and
consider establishing a business code of ethical conduct in the Arctic and focus on
environmental and safety standards.
3) The Arctic Council should work with industry to share information on advances in oil
spill remediation and prevention techniques in support of the recommendations of the
working group on Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (EPPR). Euro‐Atlantic Action Plan for Cooperation and Enhanced Arctic Security 28
1) The Arctic Council and governments should take action to support the urgent
completion and adoption of an International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandatory
Polar Code for ships operating in polar waters, which would include specific regulations
for the safe operation of cruise ships in the Arctic.
2) Arctic shipping infrastructure and operations are lacking and must be improved in the
following fields: hydrography, marine domain awareness and communications, new
ports and facilities, and ice information. An increase in the international icebreaker fleet
is occurring, and public‐private partnerships may be an option for nations to expand
their ice‐breaking capabilities.
3) The SAON process (Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks), created to measure Arctic
change, must be enhanced. The Arctic Council needs to foster stronger relationships
between the research community and operational parties. The SAON must be designed
to also provide environmental information in timely ways to enhance Arctic marine
safety and marine environmental protection.
The chiefs of defense of Arctic states (ACHOD) will have their second annual meeting in June
2013 in Greenland. They should be encouraged to:
1) Develop a common operating picture in order to increase the situational awareness in
the Arctic and assist all Arctic authorities in fulfilling their tasks in guaranteeing safety
and security in the Arctic area.
2) Identify joint training opportunities to practice search and rescue and to refine
emergency response procedures and capabilities. Establish a combined training base on
a rotating basis among the Arctic coastal nations for a yearly large‐scale search and
rescue exercise, and allow the private sector and civil authorities to participate. These
exercises, under the host lead, should last several months to more aggressively stress
capabilities and capacity. Euro‐Atlantic Action Plan for Cooperation and Enhanced Arctic Security 29
3) Deepen their cooperation through other confidence buildingmechanisms(CBMs).
ACHOD could study the establishment of an Arctic Maritime Forum to share Arctic
maritime information (hydrographic data, etc.), define future cooperation to fill other
information gaps, and develop a comprehensive Arctic survey.
1) The Arctic states should strengthen Arctic Council engagement and outreach efforts in a
number of ways:
Establish an Arctic economic or business forum/council/chamber. This entity should
have a relationship with the Arctic Council that would promote public‐private
partnerships and facilitate resolution of other Arctic issues involving private‐sector
Establish a dialogue between the armed forces of the Arctic states and the Arctic
Council (such as consultations or information sharing between the North Atlantic
and North Pacific Coast Guard Forums and the Arctic Council);
Consider creating one or more additional mechanisms, beyond observer status, for
engaging with non‐Arctic states and other entities;
Improve communication efforts to enhance public understanding of the Arctic
Council and its work; and
Seek further engagement with parliamentary groups concerned with Arctic issues.
2) The Arctic Council should enhance its ongoing operations and utility by:
Strengthening the capacity of Arctic indigenous peoples to work through their
Permanent Participant representatives in engaging with the Arctic Council;
Conducting periodic reviews of the structure and charter of the working groups to
keep them targeted at current and future issues; and
Playing a greater role in helping Arctic states address issues affecting the region in a
holistic and integrated manner. Euro‐Atlantic Action Plan for Cooperation and Enhanced Arctic Security 30
3) Arctic statesshould work togetherin appropriate fora to strengthen governance
regimes on a number of specific topics:
Complete the Polar Code through the International Maritime Organizations and take
other steps to facilitate safe, secure, and reliable Arctic shipping, including ship‐
Take steps to reduce black carbon emissions affecting the Arctic region;
Strengthen Arctic domain awareness; and
Ensure that any commercial fishing operations in the high‐seas areas of the Arctic
are based on sound science and are properly regulated. Commercial fishing should
not occur in areas in which there are insufficient data to support effective