- Established in 1996 by Ottawa Declaration, signed by eight member states of the Council.
- Is a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic states, with the involvement of the Arctic indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular the issues of sustainable development and the environmental protection in the Arctic.
Importance: it is the only instrument available for global community to cooperate and coordinate their activities in the Arctic region
Objectives of Ottawa Declaration:
- To provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic states
- To oversee and coordinate various programmes for this region like Arctic monitoring and Assessment programme, Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna; protection of Arctic Marine environment; and Emergency prevention, preparedness and response.
- To adopt terms of reference for overseas and coordinate a sustainable development programme for the region.
- To disseminate information, encourage education and promote interest in Arctic related issues.
Member States: Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden and USA
Permanent Participants: Arctic Athabascan Council, Aleut International Association, Greenwich in council International, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Saami Council
Observers: so far 12 non-arctic countries. India was given observer status in May 2013.
- At present, India has scientific, commercial, environmental and strategic interest in Arctic region.
- India launched its first scientific expedition to Arctic ocean in 2007 and established a permanent research station called ‘Himadri’ in July 2008 at the International Arctic Research Base in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Norway.
- In 2012, India was elected to the Council of International Arctic Science Committee(IASC)
The National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR)
- A viable institutional and research framework at home to carry on follow-up polar research activities on sustainable basis
- Was established as an autonomous Research and Development Institution of the Ministry of Earth Sciences ( formerly Development of Ocean Development), GoI on the 25th May 1998.
- Is located in Goa
- Focal theme of NCAOR: research in those areas of the polar science currently not being undertaken by any other institution in India.
- Year round maintenance of the two Indian stations (Maitri & Bharathi) in Antarctica and one station ‘Himadri’ in Arctic region is the primary responsibility of the Centre.