Arctic Contaminants Action Program

Quick Facts

Primary Focus
Reduction of Arctic pollution and environmental risks

Establishment
2006

Chairmanship
Norway

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About ACAP

The Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP) works to prevent and reduce pollution and environmental risks in the Arctic. ACAP carries out demonstration projects to raise awareness and show possibilities to cut pollution in the Arctic and clean up. ACAP encourages nations to strengthen policies and take actions to reduce pollutants and mitigate associated environmental, human health and socio-economic risks.

ACAP, in cooperation with national authorities, carries out its work through pilot projects, considering the challenges and risks of Arctic Indigenous populations. Pilot projects contribute to the reductions of:

  • Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as the industrial compound PCB, and mercury
  • Waste management on shore to prevent marine litter, plastics and microplastics, as well as hazardous substances, including obsolete pesticides, solvents and pharmaceuticals, and chemicals of emerging concern such as perfluorinated components
  • Short-lived climate pollutants (SLPs) such as black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbons currently covered in international conventions

The Arctic Council’s Projects Support Instrument (PSI) fund approves ACAP projects. The PSI finances activities aimed at preventing and mitigating pollution in the Arctic region and is primarily intended for project preparation activities such as project identification and concept development, pre-feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments, business and financing plans and more.

ACAP is led by a Chairmanship that rotates between Arctic Council States every two years. Norway holds the current chairmanship for ACAP for the period 2019-2021. Arctic States and Permanent Participants participate in the work, and Observers are invited to participate at ACAP meetings.

2019-2021 Work Plan Snapshot

ACAP recognizes that cooperative actions contribute significantly to the overall international effort to reduce environmental damage on a global level. ACAP’s current work plan has a focus on pilot projects to reduce mercury, POPs and hazardous substances, and to reduce emissions of black carbon and other short-lived climate forcers. There is also an increased focus on waste management onshore to prevent plastic marine litter and the release of microplastics into the Arctic environment. This cross-cutting issue requires cooperation among other relevant Arctic Council Working Groups, including the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), which measures Arctic pollution. There are currently 17 projects included in the work plan. ACAP meets in person once a year and by teleconferences three to four times a year to discuss priorities and projects identified in the work plan and to ensure progress of work.

Inger Johanne Wiese
Inger Johanne Wiese
ACAP Chair; Senior Adviser, Department for Marine Management and Pollution Control - Ministry of Climate and the Environment of Norway

Kseniia Iartceva

Executive Secretary
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ACAP Secretariat

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Four Expert Groups are active and working to develop practical actions to reduce the pollution of the Arctic environment:

Featured ACAP projects

Mitigation of black carbon and methane emissions from APG flaring in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation

A study on flaring of associated petroleum gas in the Russian Arctic shows that significant economic and environmental gains can be achieved if Best Available Technology (BAT) and Best Environmental P...

The Tundra Project

Energy security is an ongoing issue for remote, off-grid communities in the Arctic, and maintaining systems that provide reliable and uninterrupted sources of energy can be difficult and expensive. Co...
Arctic Council logo

Circumpolar Local Environmental Observer Network (CLEO)

Our world is changing rapidly, and local observers can detect subtle changes in weather, landscapes and seascapes, and in plant and animal communities.
Soot on ice. Photo:iStock

Arctic Black Carbon Case Studies Platform

Across the Arctic, countries and communities are taking action to reduce black carbon emissions. The Black carbon case studies platform highlights mitigation projects and policies relevant to the Arct...
Garbage incinerator in Greenland. Photo: iStock / olli0815

Community-based black carbon and public health assessment

Assessing and mitigating the risks of black carbon to public health.

@acap_arctic

  • ACAP met virtually over the last two days to review its deliverables for the 2021 #Arctic Council Ministerial meeting, as well as ongoing projects and new project proposals to be included in the ACAP Work Plan for 2021-2023. https://t.co/5VfwBOWlJ1 January 28 4:35 pm

ACAP News

iStock

Mercury from outside the Arctic is polluting the region

A look at current trends, concerns and future action
10 May 2021
Geothermal Power Station, Iceland Credit: iStock / DieterMeyrl

Green energy shift in the Arctic

Act short-term, gain long-term
10 May 2021
Credit: Nina Ågren

The workhorses behind the success

The work of the Arctic Council is so intricately linked to its six Working Groups that it would be impossible to write about the Council’s accomplishments without referri...
10 May 2021
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Events

May
20 May 2021
Ministerial Meeting Reykjavik/Online
June
29 Jun-30 Jun 2021
SAO Executive Meeting Moscow, Russian Federation
November
23 Nov-25 Nov 2021
SAO Plenary Salekhard, Russian Federation
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