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

 

Canadian Greenpeace activists held in Russia for three months arrive home

Feature story | December 27, 2013 at 14:36

The final scene of a near hundred day saga is taking place this weekend as Canadian activists Paul Ruzycki and Alexandre Paul return to Canada after being held in Russia for more than three months following a peaceful protest at an Arctic oil...

The true north melting and oily?

Blog entry by Sarah Wilbore | December 20, 2013 1 comment

Recently Canada announced that it would formally submit a claim for 1.7 million km of Arctic seabed, including the North Pole . With this move, Prime Minister Harper is attempting to push the limits of oil production despite...

Russian parliament votes to grant amnesty to Arctic 30

Feature story | December 18, 2013 at 11:38

The Russian parliament has today formally adopted an amnesty that will end legal proceedings against the Arctic 30. The Greenpeace activists who spent two months in jail after a peaceful protest in the Arctic have expressed relief, but they...

Thirty snow-people line gates of Russian embassy in Ottawa as call for Canadian...

Feature story | December 17, 2013 at 13:06

Greenpeace volunteers placed 30 snow-people in front of the Russian embassy in Ottawa today along with signs reading “Free the Arctic 30 – Bring them home for the holidays” calling for the disproportionate charges against the “Arctic 30” to be ...

Greenpeace arrests show attempts to silence environmentalists continue

Blog entry by David Suzuki | November 27, 2013 7 comments

Early November marked the 18th anniversary of the tragic murder of outspoken writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight colleagues by the Nigerian government. Saro-Wiwa and the others had waged a long campaign to stop...

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