After meeting at the 2009
PNWER Economic Leadership Forum in Regina and the 2010 Annual Summit in
Calgary, Alberta the newly emerging Arctic Caucus decided to meet at the Annual Summit each
year, as well as hold an annual Arctic Caucus Forum in the North. The
first official Arctic Caucus Forum was held December 1-3, 2010 in
Barrow, Alaska. Since its formation, the Arctic Caucus has developed a dynamic action plan, which is the basis of the Caucus’ existence. Over 20 action items have been identified as outcomes from annual meetings in Barrow, Alaska; Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and Whitehorse, Yukon.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (center-left) with members of the PNWER Arctic Caucus
Areas of Interest
To date, the Arctic Caucus has explored a variety of issue areas in its ongoing efforts to identify and complete action items. At the heart of all discussions is the common theme of addressing the issues with special attention to the scale and unique challenges of living in the North.Common projects and information sharing support a range of topic areas including:
Infrastructure: Development, Siting, and Financing
The Knowledge Sector: Research and Education
The Arctic Council
“The Arctic Caucus is a key mechanism for collaboration as we pursue our common goals.With the growing national and international interest in the North it is increasingly important for northern jurisdictions to engage with each another to strengthen our economies and our collective voice.” ~ Minister Stacey Hassard, Government of Yukon
Arctic Caucus Structure
Regional Economic Development
This subcommittee will enhance the collaboration of the private sector, and Arctic First Nations on cross-jurisdictional economic development. Cultural tourism and artisan trades in the region have been identified as sectors that could be enhanced through collaboration. These areas have been specific to the jurisdiction, but this subcommittee will promote a regional approach.
Resource & Infrastructure Development
This subcommittee works to bring stakeholders together on infrastructure projects from various sectors. It was suggested that a Beaufort Regional Council could be developed and modeled after the Barents Regional Council, with the aim of providing a missing level of planning coordination for multimodal, transborder corridors.
Arctic Maritime Safety & Oil Spill Response
In addition to addressing what has been done in the region to enhance the oil spill response and capability, this subcommittee will survey what public and private sector partnerships could assist with and enhance oil spill response and Arctic maritime safety. . This subcommittee will also support outreach efforts to the U.S. Federal Government on the development of Icebreakers and Arctic maritime support vessels and infrastructure.