Reduction of Arctic pollution and environmental risks
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:
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.
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.
Four Expert Groups are active and working to develop practical actions to reduce the pollution of the Arctic environment: