AMAP Assessment 2002: Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic.

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Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
AMAP , Persistent Organic Pollutants , Marine environment
"The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) was established in 1991 to monitor identified pollution risks and their impacts on Arctic ecosystems. In 1997 the first AMAP report, Arctic Pollution Issues: A State of the Arctic Environment Report* was published. The assessment showed that the Arctic is closely connected to the rest of the world, receiving contaminants from sources far outside the Arctic region. The report was welcomed by the Arctic Council Ministers, who agreed to increase their efforts to limit and reduce emissions of contaminants into the environment and to promote international cooperation in order to address the serious pollution risks reported by AMAP. The AMAP information greatly assisted the negotation of the protocols on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Longrange Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention). They also played an important role in establishing the need for a global agreement on POPs, which was concluded in 2001 as the Stockholm Convention. Persistence, long-range transport, and bioaccumulation are screening criteria under both the POPs protocol and the Stockholm Convention, to be applied to proposals to add substances to the agreements. Information from AMAP will be useful in this context in showing whether persistent substances are accumulating in the Arctic and are therefore candidates for control, and also in assessing the effectiveness of the agreements. The Arctic Council also decided to take cooperative actions to reduce pollution of the Arctic. As a direct follow up of the AMAP reports, the Arctic Council Action Plan to Eliminate Pollution of the Arctic (ACAP) was created to address sources identified through AMAP. ACAP was approved in 2000 and several projects have begun. The AMAP information was also used in establishing priorities for the Arctic Regional Programme of Action to Prevent Pollution from Landbased Sources (RPA), developed by the working group on Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME), and adopted by the Arctic Council in 1998. After the first assessment, AMAP was asked to continue its activities and provide an updated assessment on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), heavy metals, radioactivity, human health, and pathways in 2002. Five scientific reports and a plain-language report have been prepared. This Executive Summary provides the main conclusions and recommendations of the 2002 AMAP assessments."