The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) met in Moscow in a hybrid format. This was the first meeting of the SDWG chaired by the Russian Federation. Abidat Magomedova, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Technological Development of the Far East and the Arctic, in the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic is the Chair of SDWG. The operator of the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is the Roscongress Foundation.
More than 130 people attended the event. As is traditional, the meeting brought together representatives of the Arctic Council States (Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States) and the Permanent Participants: Arctic Athabaskan Council, Aleut International Association, Gwich'in Council International, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Saami Council, and the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East. Also participating were representatives from the Arctic Council Observer States: China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK as well as 3 Observer Inter-governmental Organizations, 7 Observer Non-Governmental Organizations and the European Union.
During the Working Group meeting, many current and potential projects were discussed. Three new projects were endorsed during the meeting:
Preserving Arctic Architectural Heritage,
COVID-19 in the Arctic Assessment Report, and
Advancing Arctic Resilience: Exploring aspects of Arctic Resilience connected to the impacts of permafrost thaw.
During the meeting, the Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Aysen Nikolaev, also shared information with the SDWG about the World Mammoth Centre.
The SDWG’s mandate includes pursuing opportunities to protect and enhance the environment and the economies, culture and health of Indigenous peoples and Arctic communities. Current SDWG projects include work related to topics such as food innovation, digitalization of Indigenous languages, mental health and suicide prevention, waste management, and sustainable energy to name a few. For more information about SDWG projects and activities, please visit www.sdwg.org.
The SDWG usually meets twice a year. The next SDWG meeting will take place in June 2022.