AMAP Assessment 2011: Mercury in the Arctic.

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Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
AMAP , Mercury , Climate change , Human health , Arctic biota
"This assessment report details the results of the 2011 AMAP Assessment of Mercury in the Arctic. It builds upon the previous AMAP heavy metals assessments that were presented in 1998 and 2005. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) is a group working under the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council Ministers have requested AMAP to: • produce integrated assessment reports on the status and trends of the conditions of the Arctic ecosystems; • identify possible causes for the changing conditions; • detect emerging problems, their possible causes, and the potential risk to Arctic ecosystems including indigenous peoples and other Arctic residents; and to • recommend actions required to reduce risks to Arctic ecosystems. This report provides the accessible scientific basis and validation for the statements and recommendations made in the AMAP State of the Arctic Environment report, ‘Arctic Pollution 2011’ that was delivered to Arctic Council Ministers at their meeting in Nuuk, Greenland in May 2011. It includes extensive background data and references to the scientific literature, and details the sources for figures reproduced in the ‘Arctic Pollution 2011' report. Whereas the ‘Arctic Pollution 2011’ report contains recommendations that specifically focus on actions aimed at improving the Arctic environment, the conclusions and recommendations presented in this report also cover issues of a more scientific nature, such as proposals for filling gaps in knowledge, and recommendations relevant to future monitoring and research work, etc. To allow readers of this report to see how AMAP interprets and develops its scientifically-based assessment product in terms of more action-orientated conclusions and recommendations, the ‘Executive Summary of the Arctic Pollution 2011 Ministerial Report’ is reproduced in this report on pages xi to xiv. The AMAP assessment is not a formal environmental risk assessment. Rather, it constitutes a compilation of current knowledge about the Arctic region, an evaluation of this information in relation to agreed criteria of environmental quality, and a statement of the prevailing conditions in the area. The assessment presented in this report was prepared in a systematic and uniform manner to provide a comparable knowledge base that builds on earlier work and can be extended through continuing work in the future."