The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) Working Group met last week in Torshavn, Faroe Islands.
The meeting had first been scheduled to take place in Greenland, however, due to Greenland’s boycott of the Arctic Council – ended by the Greenland Government in August – the meeting venue was moved to Torshavn.
As had been the case with another Arctic Council working group, i.e. CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna) which met the week before, Observers, new and old, were well-represented at the AMAP meeting in Torshavn. 3 new Observer countries – Japan, Italy, India and Korea – and the Netherlands had sent delegates to Torshavn.
Hosted by Canada on traditional Athabaskan lands, in Yellowknife, NWT, a meeting of Arctic Council's working group on Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) was carried out last week. The meeting was the first one under the new Canadian Chair, Risa Smith.
The meeting agenda as usual focused on projects concerning biodiversity issues, however, the program also included a presentation by Chief Bill Erasmus on the land claim agreements achieved by First Nations. Chief Erasmus explained about the historical and legal background for the present situation of Dene nations, Métis and Inuit in the NWT.
The Finnish government lead by Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen has announced it aims at ratifying Convention 169 on the rights of Indigenous and tribal peoples of the International Labour Organization.
The Finnish Government aims at doing so as a part of its program for the 2011-15 electoral term. It intends to set up a committee to establish the preconditions for ratifying the convention.
On 23 August, the Finnish Government issued a resolution on its revised Arctic strategy, emphasizing the country's role as an active Arctic player. Finland is able to reconcile the limitations imposed by the Arctic environment with the business opportunities that it also provides, and it is able to do so in a sustainable manner, the resolution says.
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.
Negotiations between the Greenland Government and the Canadian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council have resulted in an agreement that allows Greenland to return to the table of the Arctic Council. This outcome was announced by the Greenland Government Yesterday afternoon.
The agreement put an end to Greenland’s boycott of the Arctic Council which, among other things meant a Working Group meeting scheduled to take place in Nuuk has been moved to Thórshavn, Faroe Islands.
The crisis broke out just prior to the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Kiruna Sweden when the then newly elected Greenland Premier, Aleqa Hammond, announced her administration would not take part in this meeting or any other meeting until the decision of the outgoing Swedish Arctic Council chairmanship to allow only one place per country at negotiations in the Council had been reversed.
Today, 9th of August, is the official International Day of the World's Indigenous People. It was celebrated the first time in 1995 and each subsequent year during the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, 1995 – 2004.
When the UN General Assembly proclaimed a second International Indigenous Decade from 2005 to 2014, the Indigenous Day tradition was also continued. The theme of this year's Indigenous Day is "Indigenous peoples building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements."