Resolution on Arctic Pollution

International Arctic Social Sciences Association

June 1, 1995


Participants of the Second International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS II) in Rovaniemi, Finland this first day of June, 1995, resolve as follows:


Pollution in the Arctic threatens the lives, health and livelihoods of indigenous populations and Northern residents throughout the circumpolar region, and

The cumulative and ecosystem-wide effects of Arctic pollution represent grave risks which are of global significance, and

These environmental and health-based threats are a major contributor to the stresses on the cultures and social fabric of Arctic native peoples, and

Much of the pollution found in the Arctic is generated outside the Arctic, in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and

Growing pressure to increase mining, resource extraction and industrial activities in the Arctic is adding to these environmental problems, and

All indications are that Arctic pollution continues to increase, notwithstanding the commitments of the eight Arctic nations to address this grave problem as expressed in the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (1991) and the Nuuk Declaration on Environment and Development in the Arctic (1993), and

These existing agreements on Arctic pollution are not binding or enforceable,


Urge the governments of the Arctic nations to continue their efforts to monitor, control and reduce pollution in the Arctic

Call on these governments, the United Nations Environment Program, and other international bodies to pursue the negotiation of a comprehensive, enforceable and binding international agreement with the aim of reducing and remediating Arctic pollution by, inter alia:

Requiring and assisting regions which are the source of pollution in the Arctic to reduce pollution at source,

Assisting Arctic nations to monitor and remediate the effects of pollution throughout the circumpolar region,

Conducting research on sources, transmission pathways, and social and cultural impacts of Arctic pollution,

Assisting Arctic nations to ensure that new mining and industrial development activities undertaken in the Arctic are conducted in an environmentally and culturally sensitive way,

Developing a procedure for the conduct of socio- environmental impact assessments in the Arctic which includes analysis of the cumulative psychological and cultural impacts of Arctic conta- mination, mining, resource extraction and industrial development activities, and

Building on initiatives expressed in the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy to meaningfully involve indigenous populations and Northern residents in decision-making and policy-making pro- cesses concerning Arctic pollution.

This resolution is being sent to the eight Arctic nations, the ICC, the Sami Council, the Association of Russian Peoples of the North, the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, the Alaska Federation of Natives, the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), and other relevant bodies and agencies.