The Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy

The initial collaboration in the AEPS focused on preparing reports on different pollution issues, including organochlorines, heavy metals, acidification, noise, oil pollution, and radioactivity. According to Young, the new Arctic regime mirrored European experiences from working with pollution issues in the UNECE LRTAP.176 One of the early activities was an expert meeting in Oslo in 1990 that drafted a proposal for an Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), setting assessing anthropogenic pollution as its first priority. AMAP's work was initially organized in relation to different parts of the environment: atmosphere, terrestrial, freshwater, marine, remote sensing and modeling, and emissions and discharges, with an overall objective to "assess and report the status of the Arctic Environment."177 The expert group identified climate change and the effects of stratospheric ozone depletion as significant threats to the Arctic environment but placed the main responsibility for measuring the causes and effects and to understand the processes on "other international groupings and in other fora."178 Climate change was thus seen as a second priority.179 After a scientific review conducted by IASC and the International Council for Exploration of the Seas, AMAP's work was refocused along pollution-specific lines.180 This became the organizing principle for AMAP's first major assessment of pollution in the Arctic, which included a chapter on climate change and ultraviolet radiation.181

175 Interview Odd Rogne, April 14, 2004

176 Young, Creating Regimes: Arctic Accords and International Governance, 34-35.

177 The Monitoring Programme for Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, AMAP. AMAP Report 93:3, 4; Monica Tennberg, Arctic Environmental Cooperation: A Study in Governmentability (Hants and Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2000), 50-51; Elin Mathiassen, Vitenskap og politikk: Om produksjon og formidling av vitenskapelig kunskap i Arctic Monitoring and Assessment programme - Arktis rad, Diss. Statsvetenskap. Norges teknisk-naturvitenskaplige universitet, 2001).

178 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme. Minutes from the expert meeting in Oslo 12-16 Nov 1990, 4; See also State of the Arctic Environment. Updated draft proposal for Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). Prepared by State Pollution Control, Norway, 6-8.

179 The AEPS also established the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Task Force with the mandate to implement AMAP. The documentation confirms their initial emphasis on persistent organic contaminants, heavy metals, and radionuclides. See Minutes from the First meeting of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Task Force, Tromse, Norway 2-6 December 1991, Appendix 12. For a detailed account of the implementation of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy, see Young, Creating Regimes: Arctic Accords and International Governance; see also Tennberg, Arctic Environmental Cooperation: A Study in Governmentability, 47.

180 Tennberg, Arctic Environmental Cooperation: A Study in Governmentability, 50-51; Mathiassen, Vit-enskap og politikk.

181 AMAP, Arctic Pollution Issues: A State of the Arctic Environment Report; AMAP, AMAP Assessment Report: Arctic Pollution Issues (Oslo: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, 1998).

Tennberg has, in an analysis of Arctic environmental cooperation, characterized the early work of AMAP as legitimizing the existing situation and the lack of special measures to protect the Arctic. She contrasts AMAP's conclusion that the Arctic remains a clean environment to the summaries presented by other concurrent reports on the Arctic environment, which pointed to threats posed by resource exploitation and climate change.182 However, AMAP itself has highlighted the role the report played in negotiations on the UN ECE LRTAP Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants and for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.183 This latter view has support from other observers.184 In particular, AMAP together with the Northern Contaminants Programme in Canada provided a knowledge base and network from which indigenous peoples could act in the international arena.185 It also led to the Arctic Council Action Plan to Eliminate Pollution of the Arctic.

Another early working group in the AEPS was the Working Group on Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), created in 1992. It had quite a different way of working from AMAP and was more organized around different projects, in which scientists established expert networks on particular issues. Its initial agenda was focused on Canadian and Norwegian interests in building a network of protected areas. Organizationally, it was more modest than AMAP.186 Even if climate change and ozone depletion were not the major focus for CAFF either, they were included as part of the discussions and thus on the radar scanning for future knowledge needs.

The AEPS and its working groups differed from IASC in that it was intergovernmental cooperation that included only the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and the United States) as members. These countries were also formally represented in the working groups. Scientists were brought in as experts, for example to write the scientific assessments of pollution issues in the Arctic, but their tasks were politically mandated and their reports formally delivered to the environmental ministers of the Arctic countries.

A special feature of the AEPS from the beginning, in particular in CAFF, was the inclusion of indigenous knowledge and attention to co-management of natural resources. The rhetoric around including indigenous concerns and knowledge was present already in discussions about the AEPS and later several steps were taken to enhance their participation and contribution.187 Discussions considering the inclusion of traditional knowledge of indigenous people also appeared in the early documentation of AMAP's work.188 The indigenous component of AMAP's objectives are "to recognize the importance of and use of Arctic flora and fauna to the indigenous peoples" and to recognize what potential risks emerging from these problems might pose to Arctic resi

182 Tennberg, Arctic Environmental Cooperation: A Study in Governmentability, 52-53.

183 AMAP, Arctic Pollution Issues 2002, 2.

184 Downie and Fenge, Northern Lights Against POPs.

185 Interview Terry Fenge, May 3, 2004.

186 Young, Creating Regimes: Arctic Accords and International Governance, 136.

187 Tennberg, Arctic Environmental Cooperation: A Study in Governmentability, 62 ff.

188 Minutes of the First meeting of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Task Force Tromse, Norway 26 December 1991, 5.

dents, including indigenous peoples.189 In practice the use of indigenous people's knowledge was limited in the early work of AMAP.190 In IASC, the relationship to indigenous knowledge was more contentious and several statements from the mid-1990s indicate that there was a concern among indigenous peoples that IASC was not interested enough in the concerns of the people of the region.191

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