Arctic

© Greenpeace / Christian Åslund

The Arctic is a treasure of life and beauty, home to millions of people and amazing wildlife.

Approximately 30 different peoples with unique cultures and traditions call the Arctic and subarctic regions “home”. The Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic, many of them Inuit, inhabit the most northern regions of North America, Eurasia and Greenland. Modern times have brought great change to life in the Arctic, but many people still live in very close connection with the land and depend on their natural environment and the Arctic wildlife.

Walruses, narwhals, Arctic foxes, beluga whales and polar bears are among the most iconic animals to be found in the Arctic, and they provide examples of the beauty, uniqueness and diversity of Arctic wildlife. Life in the Arctic forms a complex and delicate ecosystem.

Canada’s Arctic sector covers 1,425,000 square kilometers and is home to many Inuit, First Nations, Dene, Métis and non-Indigenous communities. After Greenland, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is the world’s largest high-Arctic land area.

What happens in the Arctic also affects the lives of people far away. Arctic ice and snow help regulate our climate by reflecting incoming sunlight back into space, acting like a refrigerator for the planet. Arctic permafrost stores massive amounts of carbon, and as it thaws this carbon gets released and threatens to push global warming completely out of control. Melting Arctic ice on land raises global sea levels and could drown coastal communities and small island nations. The Arctic also influences weather patterns for the northern hemisphere.

Rising temperatures caused by climate change are rapidly altering the face of the Arctic, bringing new risks and big challenges for the environment and wildlife, as well as for people in the Arctic and all around the world.

Greenpeace has mobilized over seven million people to take a stand and help ensure the protection desperately needed at the top of the world. To add your voice sign the petition at SavetheArctic.org

The latest updates

 

Russian Indigenous communities clean up Rusvietpetro’s oil spill as company does nothing

Blog entry by Laura Kenyon, Greenpeace International | June 4, 2013

On May 26, oil began flowing down the Kolva River through Komi Indigenous land in Northern Russia. For a week now the oil has been coating the river and building up on the banks, with no reaction from Rusvietpetro, the joint venture...

Oh, Canada: 5 reasons Canada's Prime Minister is bad news for the Arctic

Blog entry by Patrick Bonin | May 14, 2013

In six short years, ‘The Harper Government’ (TM) has taken us from hockey, maple syrup and Mounties to pipelines, tar sands and climate change denial. This government has wreaked havoc on the Canadian environment, and now they’re...

Canada’s pro-oil agenda threatens to destroy the Arctic: Greenpeace

Feature story | May 14, 2013 at 13:01

As Canada officially took the chair of the Arctic Council today, Greenpeace sent a direct message to delegates at the ministerial meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, and launched an international mobilization online calling on Canada to put people and the...

Indigenous Peoples put Arctic Council on alert as Canada becomes new chair

Feature story | May 13, 2013 at 1:00

On the eve of the Arctic Council meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, where Canada will take the chair of the Council, a pan-Arctic Indigenous conference has generated 15 new signatories to a joint statement in opposition to Arctic drilling, which now...

New Hope for the Arctic?

Blog entry by John Hocevar | April 26, 2013

Often as an environmental campaigner, I find myself thinking the planet would be in much better shape if more thought was given, and caution taken, before industries are given free rein to exploit its precious natural resources. Not to...

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