Contact: Svein Tveitdal <email@example.com Lars Kullerud <firstname.lastname@example.org<
Date: October 1998
The United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) mission is, "to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations". One of the main objectives of UNEP's GRID-Arendal office is to serve as a regional focal point for Arctic environmental information within UNEP. In meeting this objective UNEP/GRID-Arendal works closely with many players in the Arctic Council process, including the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), the programme for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME). UNEP/GRID-Arendal has also represented UNEP at recent meetings of the Arctic Council, including the Alta Ministerial meeting in June 1997. It has also developed strong ties to the work of the Standing Committee on Arctic Parliamentarians and has helped this group with practical support on issues of environmental information and communication.
UNEP/GRID-Arendal has a large amount of data concerning environmental issues in the polar regions and offers assistence to the indigenous peoples of the Russian north in assessing their environmental problems and providing services to assist in the mitigation of those problems. UNEP/GRID-Arendal, in co-operation with the Danish-Greenlandic Initiative and the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat of the Arctic Council, organised the first seminar (Moscow, March 1998) where leaders of the indigenous peoples' regional organisations met to discuss environmental problems affecting their regions. A report from this meeting is presently printed.
UNEP/GRID-Arendal is also working with RAIPON, the Indigenous People's Secretariat and other indigenous organisations in Norway to develop proposals to further assist the indigenous peoples in the North of the Russian Federation.