Iceland holds the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council from May 2019 to May 2021. Iceland will during its chairmanship put emphasis on discussing and promoting ways and means to reduce the impact of plastics on the Arctic marine ecosystem. This emphasis will be reflected in the work of the Arctic Council, but Iceland intends also to stage an international symposium on the matter in Reykjavík in April 2020. The tentative title of the symposium is: “The threat of plastic to Arctic and Sub-Arctic marine ecosystems.“

The Government of Iceland has already received confirmation from The Nordic Council of Ministers and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to become co-sponsors of the event, which we hope will provide a most relevant update on plastic in the region and its impact on the marine environment. Iceland is interested in extending the collaboration and sponsorship of the symposium and is considering adding 2-3 further sponsors for the event.

The planned symposium will build a foundation of science and produce information and advice for decision makers. The symposium aims for exchange of views and to inform about the threat of plastic to ocean life and possible reactions. The symposium will evaluate present status of plastic pollution in Arctic and Sub-Arctic waters and discuss the extent and nature of the plastic pollution. The origin of plastic litter and how it is transported to or in Arctic and Sub-Arctic waters and how breakdown processes are operating in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic. Furthermore the symposium should focus on how different groups and sizes of plastic are affecting organisms in Arctic and Sub-Arctic. Finally it should discuss possible mitigation methods and how they can be implemented.

The conveners for the symposium have been appointed. They are Hrönn Jörundsdottir, MATIS, Reykjavik and Thomas Maes, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft.

Work has started to select and appoint a high-level scientific committee to assist in drawing up the program and the list of speakers for the conference.

The next PAME Working Group Meeting (PAME I-2019) will be held from 4-7 February 2019 at the facilities of Hotel Scandic Triangeln. Monday the 4th of February has been set aside for pre-meetings of the PAME expert groups.

Leads on respective activities are requested to prepare for this meeting in accordance with the PAME Work Plan 2017-2019 and Records of Decisions from the PAME II-2018 meeting.

Egersheld peninsula and Vladivostok container terminalThe next PAME Working Group Meeting (PAME II-2018) will be held from 1-4 October 2018 at the facilities of Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University. Adress: Verkhneportovaya Street 50a, Vladivostok (Website Monday the 1st of October has been set aside for pre-meetings of the PAME expert groups.

Leads on respective activities are requested to prepare for this meeting in accordance with the PAME Work Plan 2017-2019 and Records of Decisions from the PAME I-2018 meeting. PAME delegations are invited to include IMO, EA, MPA, Resource Exploration and Development, Marine Litter and other experts in their delegations to the PAME II-2018 meeting.

The aim of this Meeting is as follows:
  1. Leads on respective activities to provide status on progress to date in accordance with the PAME I-2018 Records of Decisions and the PAME 2017-2018 Work Plan and propose timelines to finalize respective activities/projects for deliverables to the 2018 Ministerial meeting (early May).
  2. Agree on updates/status for the next SAO meeting 24-26 October 2018 in Rovaniemi to include a list of planned deliverables for the April 2019 Ministerial meeting.
  3. Compile proposed activities and projects for possible inclusion into the PAME Work Plan 2019- 2021 to include draft content, new proposed projects and indications of lead/co-leads. Use the AMSP 2015-2025 Implementation plan as the framework.
  4. Agree on timelines/milestones of actions and activities needed up to May 2019 Ministerial meeting to include the final draft of the PAME Work Plan 2019-2021 and inputs to the SAO Report to Ministers as per guidance from the Arctic Council/U.S. Chairmanship.

Palace of Westminster
The first meeting of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum

This meeting took place 5-6 June 2017 at Lloyd’s Register Office, 71 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4BS


Meeting summary Meeting agenda  Registrations
Meeting report (Final)  Meeting agenda (Final)   List of registration (Final)

The purpose of the Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum is to support effective implementation of the Polar Code by making publicly available at a web portal hyperlinks to information relevant to all those involved in safe and environmentally sound Arctic shipping, including vessels owners/operators, regulators, classification societies, marine insurers, and indigenous and local communities.

Examples of information that the planned web portal would hyperlink to are:
• Arctic Voyage Planning Guides (e.g., Canada’s Arctic Voyage Planning Guide);
• Sea ice information (e.g., U.S. National Ice Center’s Current Daily Ice Analysis);
• Marine insurance guidance (e.g., UK P&I Club’s Arctic Shipping: P&I Insurance FAQ);
• Industry guidelines for safe operations (e.g., the Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators Wildlife Guidelines); 

Information Papers submitted  
Insurance industry - position paper Download
AECO Information paper   Download 
WWF/CCU Submission   Download 
ESA Polar Code Decision Support System   Download 
Arctic Coast Guard Forum   Download 
Navigation in Ice - The Natutical Institute   Download 
Danish Maritime Authority - Information Paper    Download
ICC - Arctic Shipping Forum Information Paper   Download
International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG) / JCOMM
Expert Team on Sea Ice (ETSI) - Information Paper
A summary of how IALA expects to advance safe and environmental
sound Arctic navigation and suggested information to be considered for
the Information Forum web portal.
USA - Example of hyperlinks Download
WMO - Information Paper Download

Presentations from the meeting            
Arctic States: Denmark Download 
Permanent Participants/Indigenous Peoples: ICC  Download
Arctic Council Observers: Republic of Korea   Download
Industry: Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators   Download
Intergovernmental Organizations: International Association of Marine
Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities

IMO video: The Polar Code explained