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The Role of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (Amap) in Reducing Pollution of the Arctic and around the Globe

  • Lars-Otto Reiersen
  • Katrin Vorkamp
  • Roland Kallenborn
  • Summary

This article presents the initiation and implementation of a systematic scientific and political cooperation in the Arctic related to environmental pollution and climate change, with a special focus on the role of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). The AMAP initiative has coordinated monitoring and assessments of environmental pollution across countries and parameters for the entire Arctic region. Starting from a first scientific assessment in 1998, AMAP's work has been fundamental in recognizing, understanding and addressing environmental and human health issues in the Arctic, including those of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, radioactivity, oil, acidification and climate change. These scientific results have contributed at local and international levels to define and take measures towards reducing the pollution not only in the Arctic, but of the whole globe, especially the contaminant exposure of indigenous and local communities with a traditional lifestyle. The results related to climate change have documented the rapid changes in the Arctic and the strong feedback between the Arctic and the rest of the world. The lessons learned from the work in the Arctic can be beneficial for other regions where contaminants may accumulate and affect local and indigenous peoples living in a traditional way, e.g. in the Himalayas. Global cooperation is indispensable in reducing the long-range transported pollution in the Arctic.

  • Published in:
    Environmental Science and Ecotechnology, 17
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