Defining the content

In the ACIA, the Assessment Steering Committee played a driving role in the early process of defining the content of the scientific report. Initially AMAP and CAFF are represented by their secretariats, IASC by senior scientists, and the indigenous peoples by one of the Permanent Participants in the Arctic Council. In the early phase of the ACIA, the Arctic countries also had either experts in climate/UV or representatives from their political delegations to AMAP and CAFF present. As soon as the ACIA secretariat was about to be established, this entity was also represented at the meeting.

It was the Assessment Steering Committee and the contact networks of its members that formed the basis for the initial ACIA report scoping meeting, where 40 experts discussed what the report should include. Additionally, there were also some political discussions about the content of the Senior Arctic Officials Meeting in June 2000. One issue was how "socioeconomic" issues should be handled. What socioeconomic issues included is not clear, other than a statement from the Inuit Circumpolar Conference that "it's not only about science, but people as well."53 A related discussion was on how to ensure the participation of indigenous peoples, which the Permanent Participants phrased as the inclusion of traditional knowledge. A third comment on content was to "keep in mind issues relating to the connection of the Arctic region with the global sys-

tem."54

The minutes from the Assessment Steering Committee in June 2000 indicate that IPCC's Third Assessment Report and the US National Climate Impact Assessment, which were both underway at the time, also served as important starting points for the structure of the ACIA report. It was decided that the report should have 14 chapters organized into three main sections: The Arctic as part of the global system, impacts on

53 Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials Meeting. Fairbanks, Alaska, April 27-28, 2000. Minutes revised 10/12/00.

54 Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials Meeting. Fairbanks, Alaska, April 27-28, 2000. Minutes revised 10/12/00.

physical and biological systems, and impacts on humans and their activities. A final summary chapter was to attempt an integrated description of impacts.55 The meeting also discussed potential lead authors for the chapters. Prior to the meeting, the ACIA executive director had called for nominations and had received names and curricula vitae from "a number of sources in Canada, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the U.S." The criteria used in the selection were that these authors should be "both knowledgeable scientists and leaders who could effectively organize the teams of contributing au-

thors."56

At the Barrow ministerial meeting in October 2000, the table of contents was put before the politicians as part of the ACIA implementation plan. Some notes on record specifically discuss content. One note from the US chair was that "we must avoid causality; others are working on this issue and the Council could probably not add much." "Others" in this case seems to refer to the IPCC as the statement was followed by a remark that the assessment should feed into its work. The issue of causality did however come up in the ACIA in a discussion on whether Arctic climate change can be attributed to emission of greenhouse gases, which is discussed further in Chapter 6 of this dissertation. The major focus of the comments appears to have been on the importance of the ACIA for drawing policy conclusions, including a request that Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) and Ministers be kept informed and that there be "close ACIA-SAO links."57

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