Arctic Marine Environment
Arctic Council Working Groups have contributed significantly to scientific knowledge and understanding of the Arctic marine environment. The Arctic Council will continue its work on monitoring and assessment, protection of marine and coastal ecosystems, and promotion of sustainable use of marine resources.
During its Chairmanship, Iceland will highlight plastic pollution in the Arctic marine environment, drawing on the findings of the first desktop study on marine litter in the Arctic. The Arctic Council will work on the development of a Regional Action Plan to reduce marine litter, including micro-plastics, along with other efforts to monitor and limit its impacts.
The Government of Iceland plans to convene an international symposium on the threat of plastics to Arctic marine ecosystems in April 2020 and the possibility of a high-level political dialogue on marine issues is under consideration.
Innovative methods to improve the utilization of living marine resources may have considerable potential for driving sustainable economic growth in coastal communities. Iceland is leading the development of a project on the Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic, exploring opportunities to increase the value of marine products.
Iceland will continue to promote safe and sustainable shipping in the Arctic. With increasing marine traffic and activities, it is essential to maintain close and effective cooperation among the Arctic States on search and rescue, as well as emergency prevention, preparedness and response. Circumpolar meteorological and oceanographic cooperation also serves to improve safety at sea and should be developed further, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization.