The Arctic Councils Sustainable Development Working Group has concluded it's regular meeting in copenhagen Denmark 10-11 Nov. The transaction being made between the Norwegian chairmanship between 2006-2009 and theDanish Chairmanship creates a perfect opportunity to give a general overview of the SDWG and cover some of the work that has been done under the Norwegian chairmanship. The Danish chairmanship will be led by Marianne Lykke Thomsen as head chair of the working group.
The Working Group on sustainable Development was established at the first Arctic council Ministerial meeting in september 1998 in Iqualuit, Nunavut, Canada. " The objective of the SDWG is to protect and enhance the economies, culture and health of the inhabitants of the Arctic, in an environmentally sustainable manner. Currently the Sustainable Development Working Group is involved in projects in the areas of children and youth, health, telemedicine, resource management, cultural and ecological tourism, and living conditions in the Arctic." It is clear that the SDWG has a very broad mandate as can be seen in both the Sustainable Development Terms of Reference (1998) as well as the Sustainable Development Framework Document (2000) that the SDWG has a very broad framework.
Projects are not direcly managed by the SDWG. Lead countries in each project report to the SDWG at regular meetings and other SDWG participants offer their comments. Each project has one or more lead countries as well as a project team of experts from participating Arctic states. The outcome of this work can bee seen by following the links below to current releases of the SDWG under the Norwegian chairmanship as well as a link to prior projects.