Today, the Arctic Council’s Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum launched a public Web Portal to assist in the effective implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code).
The Web Portal, accessible at www.arcticshippingforum.is, provides links to authoritative information essential to implementation of and compliance with the Polar Code. For example, links are available on hydrographic, meteorological, and ice data information needed to plan for safe and environmentally sound navigation in the Arctic.
Information for the Web Portal was contributed by many stakeholders, including Arctic States, intergovernmental organizations, classification societies, the shipping industry, marine insurers, and non-governmental organizations. The Web Portal will be regularly updated and expanded as new information becomes available.
The Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum was established in 2017 by the eight Arctic States (Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States) to help raise awareness and to promote the effective implementation of the Polar Code.
Dr. Stefan Micallef, Assistant Secretary-General of the IMO today gave remarks at the second meeting of the Forum highlighting the importance of the Forum´s work and collaboration between the IMO and the Forum to facilitate for a effective implementation of the Polar Code.
Finland’s Anita Makinen, the Forum Chair said:
“I am pleased to see the strong interest in the Forum and the evident commitment of its Participants to making it a success. I look forward to building on the progress made to date and further strengthening the Web Portal so that it becomes an indispensable tool for all those involved in Arctic shipping.”
The meeting took place in London from 14-15 May and was hosted by the Irish Cultural Centre. For further information about the Forum, its second meeting, and its participants, please visit the Meeting Site.
Over 80 participants from Arctic Council Member States, Permanent Participants and Observers participated, in addition to invited experts.
Click here to download the report.
The meeting report includes the meeting decisions (Records of decisions), a list of meeting participants, the agenda for the meeting, and a list of all documents discussed at the meeting.
The PAME meeting reports give great insight into how PAME operates in its meetings, whilst the bulk of the work is done interseassionally.
The PAME Working Group meets twice per year, with the next meeting being held in Vladivostok, Russia.
Click here to download the report.
The Joint EA-EG prepared a report on ‘Status of Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach to Management in the Arctic’ (download here) that was delivered through PAME to Senior Arctic Officials and Ministers. In the Fairbanks Declaration from the Ministerial meeting in May 2016, the ministers reaffirmed the need for an ecosystem approach to management in the Arctic, and encouraged future efforts to develop practical guidelines for implementing an ecosystem approach. The Joint EA-EG has developed a framework with six elements for implementing the EA in the Arctic.
The work at the 6th EA workshop focused on two related subjects:
- Development of EA guidelines, as requested by the Arctic Council ministers, and
- share and summarize information and experiences with integrated assessments of ecosystem status as a step toward developing best practices for Arctic IEA, for measuring trends and pressures for coastal and marine areas (which is a follow-up of EBM recommendation 3.5 from Kiruna in 2013).
Finland welcomes the entry into force of the IMO Polar Code from the beginning of this year as its enforcement enhances both shipping safety and environmental protection in its application areas in the Arctic and Antarctic waters i.e. in the both Polar regions.
“Exploring common solutions” is the slogan for the Finland´s Arctic Council Chairmanship Programme for 2017-2019. Our message is clear - only together can we successfully confront the challenges. And accordingly, Finland wants the public and the private sectors in the Arctic to work together towards common goals of the Polar Code.
The Arctic Council PAME Working Group has established the Arctic Shipping Best Practice Information Forum to support effective implementation of the Polar Code. Finland supports the work of the Forum and in accordance Finland has the honor to host an “International Conference on Harmonized implementation of the Polar Code“on 22 February 2018 in Helsinki, Finland.
Date: 22th February 2018
Venue: Hilton Helsinki Strand Hotel
(address John Stenbergin ranta 4)
Registration: Click here
The PAME II-2017 Meeting Report has subsequently been released. It includes the Records of Decisions from the meeting and its follow up actions.
It also entails the list of participants with 93 people participating in the meeting - a record for PAME. The meeting agenda is also included.
Topics of discussion a the meeting included updates to and next steps in specific projects, new project ideas and presentations from various bodies, including from International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) on the use and carriage of HFO by ships in the Arctic, the Finnish Maritime Environment Tri-authority Operations (METO), the Finnish Shipowners’s Association and Germany on its Arctic policy guidelines, interests and polar research.
Click here to download the meeting report, which proves a great insight in PAME's work.
The Forum has been established by the eight Arctic States (Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States) to help raise awareness and to promote the effective implementation of the International Maritime Organization's International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), a mandatory international framework that increases the safety of ship operations and mitigate the impact on the people and the vulnerable environment in Polar waters. The Polar Code came into force in January 2017.
The Forum was referenced in the Arctic Council’s Ministerial Declaration in Fairbanks, Alaska on 11 May 2017, signed by the foreign ministers of the eight Arctic States.
In the Declaration, the Arctic States welcomed:
“ the entry into force of the Polar Code to ensure safe and environmentally sound shipping in the harsh Arctic marine environment, and encourage continued engagement by Arctic States, including at the International Maritime Organization, to facilitate harmonized implementation and enforcement of the Polar Code, and note with appreciation the establishment of the Arctic Shipping Best Practices Information Forum to promote the implementation of the Code”
The International code of safety for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code) covers the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles.
Convened under the auspices of the Arctic Council's Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME), the Forum aims to make publicly available, at a single web portal, information to support effective implementation of the Polar Code.
In addition to Arctic Council members, including Arctic States, Permanent Participants and Observers, the Forum was attended by a wide spectrum of stakeholders with an interest in Arctic shipping. In particular, industry has played a key role in shaping the Forum, with significant input from maritime organizations and insurers, including Lloyd’s of London, and Lloyd’s Register.
Mr. Ashok Mahapatra, Director of the Maritime Safety Division of the International Maritime Organization, gave an address emphasising the importance of compiling information to assist in effective implementation of and compliance with the Polar Code.
Finland’s Anita Makinen, the Forum Chair said:
“The inaugural meeting of the Arctic Shipping Best Practices Information Forum is an important milestone in identifying and gathering information to support safe and environmentally responsible Arctic shipping.”
She went on to say, “The input of so many stakeholders in the Forum demonstrates the importance of working in a collaborative approach to support the effective implementation of international regulations.”
The PAME deliverables for the 2017 Ministerial Meeting are the following:
- PAME MPA-network toolbox: Area-based conservation measures and ecological connectivity
- Indicator Report on Arctic Protected Areas (CAFF/PAME)
- Arctic Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan (ARIAS) (CAFF/PAME)
- Final report on the Regional Reception Facilities plan and draft submission for IMO
- Cooperative Agreement among the Arctic States Regarding Arctic Ship Traffic Data Sharing
- Status of Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach to Management in the Arctic
- PAME Work Plan 2017-2019
- PAME Main Achievements 2015-2017
- 4th AMSA Implementation Progress Report for the period 2015-2017.
- Terms of Reference for the Arctic Shipping Best Practices Information Forum.
- Meaningful Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Communities in Marine Activities (MEMA) Part I Report.
- MEMA Workshop Report.
- The 2015 – 2017 Progress Report of the Joint Ecosystem Approach Expert Group (EA-EG).
- The Summary Report of the International Science and Policy Conference on the Status of Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach in the Arctic.
- 1st Report on progress/implementation of the 2015-2025 Arctic Marine Strategic Plan (AMSP).
The picture on the right shows six current Working Group Chairs, five current Working Group executive secretaries, and two incoming Working Group Chairs, preparing to assume their duties. From left to right, Jens-Peter Holst Andersen, Ulrik Westman, Bernard Funston, Lars-Otto Reiersen, Soffía Guðmundsdóttir (PAME Executive Secretary), Renée Sauvé (PAME Chair), Tom Barry, Patti Bruns, Martin Forsius, Reidar Hindrum, Amy Merten, Pekka Shemeikka, and Roberta Burns.
Below is a press release from the Arctic Council after the meeting.
Juneau, Alaska, U.S.A.
Thursday, 9 March 2017
Senior officials from the Arctic Council’s eight Member States and six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations (PPs) met in Juneau in preparation for the upcoming Fairbanks Ministerial meeting, which will take place on 11 May 2017.
"At this week's meeting we reviewed the impressive body of work completed by the Working Groups and Task Forces over the past two years. These initiatives underlined the significant and growing role the Arctic Council plays in the sustainable development and environmental protection of the Arctic, and its work to improve the lives of those in Arctic communities. The meeting also leaves us poised for a successful Ministerial meeting in May, when the Chairmanship of the Council will transfer from the United States to Finland," said Ambassador David Balton, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials.
At this meeting, the Senior Arctic Officials approved and welcomed a wide array of projects and reports of the Council’s Working Groups and Task Forces in preparation for the upcoming Ministerial meeting, including:
- The “State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report,” a comprehensive report on the status and trends of marine biodiversity and monitoring in Arctic marine areas,
- The “Arctic Protected Areas Indicator Report,” an inventory of terrestrial and marine protected areas that summarizes the status and trends towards achieving global protected area targets,
- The “Arctic Regional Reception Facilities Plan,” a proposed waste management plan for ship-generated wastes intended to help the Arctic States meet their obligations under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and standards linked to the new Polar Code,
- Survey results and policy recommendations on the OneHealth approach,
- A searchable database of equipment assets available for response to emergencies in the Arctic,
- An update of the report “Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic,” and
- A project to reduce emissions of black carbon from a diesel-fueled, off-grid power source at a reindeer farm in the Russian Arctic.
Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, also attended the meeting, providing an update on the IMO’s Polar Code. The Arctic Council Observers also delivered brief remarks during the meeting.
At the meeting, Finland unveiled the program for its 2017-2019 Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which focuses on addressing the effects of climate change and fostering sustainable development. The proposed priorities include environmental protection, meteorological cooperation, connectivity, and education in the Arctic.
Almost 80 people participated in the biggest PAME WG meeting in history.
The meeting was hosted by the Kingdom of Denmark and was honoured to receive welcoming remarks from Hanne Fugl Eskjær, Senior Arctic Official of Kingdom of Denmark and Lida Skifte Lennert, Head of Representation from Greenland.
Among topics was finalisation of what projects to include in the PAME 2017-2019 Work Plan. Other topics included:
- Framework for a Pan-Arctic Network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
- Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, follow up
- Arctic Offshore Resource Exploration and Development
- Ecosystem Approach to Management
- Preparations for the 2017 Ministerial Meeting
PAME I-2017 meeting report.