Tuesday, 20 August 2013 12:26

AC Chair Meeting at IPS

From left to right; Mr. David Nelson, Political Counsellor, Embassy of Canada. Ms. Marie Skov Madsen, Political Officer, Embassy of Canada. Alona Yefimenko, Technical Advisor, IPS. Mr. André François Giroux, Ambassador of Canada. Erik Gant, Executive Secretary, IPS. Patrick Borbey, Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials' Chair. Ms. Jeannette Menzies, Head, Canadian International Centre for the Arctic Region From left to right; Mr. David Nelson, Political Counsellor, Embassy of Canada. Ms. Marie Skov Madsen, Political Officer, Embassy of Canada. Alona Yefimenko, Technical Advisor, IPS. Mr. André François Giroux, Ambassador of Canada. Erik Gant, Executive Secretary, IPS. Patrick Borbey, Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials' Chair. Ms. Jeannette Menzies, Head, Canadian International Centre for the Arctic Region IPS

Patrick Borbey, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council, today paid a visit to the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secretariat. The delegation he headed included, among others, the Canadian Ambassador to Denmark, André François Giroux.

The meeting started with Erik Gant, explaining in detail the work of IPS and how it is built in with the Permanent Participants and the Arctic Council. Next, the issue of IPS relocation to Tromsø was brought up and Erik Gant described the developments on the relocation issue.

Another subject discussed at the meeting was the Kiruna Declaration and the follow up work on the use of Traditional and Local knowledge and its integration in the work of the Arctic Council. Patrick Borbey commented on the Permanent Participants different opinions on the definition of Traditional Knowledge and Local Knowledge.

An important part of integrating Traditional- and Local Knowledge is therefore deciding a common definition of Traditional- and Local Knowledge to integrate Traditional- and Local Knowledge into the work of the Arctic Council.

The work has been delegated to the Social Development Working Group, who will be working with the University of the Arctic. It is expected that there will be a project scope ready for the next Senior Arctic Official meeting in Whitehorse.

On the matter of Traditional Way of Life, the Arctic Council Chair asked for input from the Permanent Participants. It is therefore still in its drafting stage but one suggested idea at the meeting is an exchange of local products.

Erik Gant then explained the work IPS is doing with strengthening relationship between observers in the Arctic Council and the Permanent Participants. Here the conflict between the European Union and Canada, due to the seal ban, was discussed. The European Union is still able to attend Arctic Council meetings as observers, but it is not a permanent situation.

Patrick Borbey noted that there is a capacity building lack within the Arctic Council. There are at the moment more than 80 projects running and it can therefore be hard for small organizations to keep updated on all of the projects within the Arctic Council.

Furthermore, he noted that the Canadian chairmanship will facilitate the logistics regarding the visa issues for Russians.

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Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat
Fram Centre, Postboks 6606 Langnes, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway