As part of the project "Environmental Guidelines of German Arctic Policy" funded by the Federal Environment Agency, Ecologic Institute hosted the expert workshop "Environmental protection of the High North – How to protect the Arctic from afar?" on 24 October 2018 in Berlin. The aim of the workshop was to facilitate exchange and discussion on how observers of the Arctic Council can engage strategically and practically in the protection of the Arctic environment. The exchange with states active in the High North, indigenous communities, businesses, research and civil society produced solutions for a sustainable development in the Arctic that allows for the reconciliation of a wide spectrum of interests in the region. The focus was on climate change and air pollution control, shipping in the Arctic and sustainable tourism in the region.
In moderated working groups based on these thematic areas, the participants developed and discussed cooperation possibilities in Arctic environmental protection. About 40 experts participated in this workshop, including the Finnish Ambassador in Berlin, Ritva Koukku-Ronde, the President of the Sámi Council, Åsa Larsson-Blind, and Cynthia Jacobson, Executive Secretary of the CAFF Working Group.
The Arctic is home to unique habitats that are increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change and the release of pollutants. As the region warms up and becomes more accessible, the planning and implementation of economic activities also place a greater burden on the region's ecosystems. Due to the inevitable links between Arctic and non-Arctic regions, Arctic states as well as those not directly located in the region are jointly responsible for the protection of the Arctic environment.
Ecologic Institute was responsible for the organisation and implementation of the workshop.