Fact Sheet Arctic Council
Arctic Council - Fact sheet
Photo by: Lapland Material Bank | Markus Kiili

Arctic Council – Fact sheet

Arctic Council was formally established by the Ottawa Declaration of 1996. It’s purpose is to act as a high level intergovernmental forum in order to promote cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States and indigenous communities. It covers common Arctic issues, in particular sustainable  development and environmental protection in the Arctic.

Member States

Member States of the Arctic Council are Canada, The Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America.

Permanent Participants

Aleut International Association (AIA), Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC), Gwich’in Council International (GCI), Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Saami Council and Russian Arctic Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) form Permanent Participants, which provides active participation and full consultation within the Arctic Council.


The Arctic Council Ministerial Meetings as well as the Senior Arctic Officials Meetings are held biannually in the country holding the chairmanship. Working Groups hold meetings throughout the year, prior to Ministerial meetings. There are six Working Groups in the Arctic Council:

– Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP)
– Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
– Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
– Emergency Prevention, Prepared- ness and Response (EPPR)
– Protection of the Arctic Marine Envi- ronment (PAME)
– Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)


Observer status in the Arctic Council is open to non-arctic states, inter-governmental and inter-parliamentary
organizations and non-governmental organizations.

The Chairmanship

The Chairmanship of the Arctic Council rotates every second year. From 2017-2019 the Chairmanship is held by Finland.
More infomation on Finland’s chairmanship here.

Open Arctic and Lapland Arctic Council Host Committee

During the chairmanship The Lapland Arctic Council Host Committee organizes side events in
connection with the Arctic Council meetings and other Arctic events taking place in Lapland.

Further information can be found on Arctic Council websites.

You can also load briefing paper (pdf) which tells about Arctic Council.

Published 3/2018