Arctic Contaminants Action Program

ACAP’s mission is to contribute to the efforts to reduce environmental risks and prevent pollution of the Arctic environment. ACAP acts as a strengthening and supporting mechanism of the Arctic Council, encouraging national actions to reduce emissions and releases of pollutants and to reduce environmental, human health and socio-economic risks.

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...
Overview
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.
Overview
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...
Overview
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.
Overview
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...
Overview

@acap_arctic

  • This week we are at the @AMAP_Arctic meeting in Tromsø, Norway discussing topics relevant also for ACAP’s work. twitter.com/ArcticCouncil/… October 31 1:39 pm

ACAP News

How to reduce emissions of black carbon and methane in the Arctic

Significant reductions in emissions of black carbon and methane and economic gains can be achieved if Best Available Technology (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BE...
30 Oct 2020

Mercury and toxic cocktails affect the Arctic ecosystems, wildlife and human health – How to take action?

Tackling mercury pollution is a priority for the Arctic Contaminants Action Program Working Group. Why is it an issue in the Arctic?
23 Oct 2020

Significant economic and environmental gains can be achieved by applying Best Available Technology in the oil sector in the Arctic

The Arctic Council’s Arctic Contaminant Action Program (ACAP) has completed a study on flaring of associated petroleum gas in the Russian Arctic. The report shows that si...
25 Jun 2020
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Events

2021

March
09 Mar 2021
SAO Executive Meeting Akureyri, Iceland
10 Mar-11 Mar 2021
SAO Plenary Meeting Akureyri, Iceland
April
14 Apr-15 Apr 2021
SAO Executive Meeting Reykjanesbær, Iceland
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