The Government of Iceland in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers is hosting an International Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Region in April 2020 in connection with the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
The International Symposium will focus on scientific knowledge of the problem and the best practices to deal with the huge challenge. In this way the symposium is expected to build a foundation of science and deliver information and advice for decision makers.
On behalf of the government of Iceland, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Industries and Innovation are responsible for the preparation of the Symposium. The symposium is further sponsored by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the OSPAR Commission, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute of Iceland, the Harvard Kennedy School and the International Arctic Science Committee.
Iceland holds the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council from May 2019 to May 2021 and intends during this period to promote discussion on ways and means that may reduce the impact of plastics in the Arctic Marine Environment. The symposium is furthermore expected to contribute to the Arctic Council's work on plastic litter during the Icelandic Chairmanship.
Iceland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2019. The Icelandic Presidency prioritizes the ocean with a focus on the fight against plastic in the marine environment, one of our times biggest challenges. The Presidency project NordMar Plastic runs for three years, up until 2021 and is in joint partnership of all eight Nordic countries.