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

 

Arctic 30 - 50 days of injustice in their own words

Blog entry by Esther Freeman | November 8, 2013

As we reach 50 days of detention of the Arctic 30, here is a collection of their tweets and letters, telling their story in their own words. "BREAKING: Helicopter hovering above Arctic Sunrise, rope dropping down. We think the...

Incredible new footage of the moment special forces boarded the Arctic Sunrise

Blog entry by Pete Speller | November 8, 2013 1 comment

We've just received incredible new footage that shows the moment Russian special forces abseiled onto the heli deck of the Arctic Sunrise and detained the crew at gun point. Email John Baird, Minister of Foreign...

I will keep the faith. For a better world.

Blog entry by Sarah Wilbore | October 28, 2013 5 comments

The following is the transcription of a handwritten letter from Arctic 30 detainee Alexandre Paul. Canadians Alexandre and Paul Ruzycki have now been imprisoned in Murmansk, Russia, for over a month. Dear supporters, My name...

Defend the Arctic and peaceful protest: get your Arctic 30 Solidarity Kit

Blog entry by Natalie Caine, Arctic Campaign | October 24, 2013 3 comments

It has been over a month since 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists were illegally detained in international waters by Russian authorities, following a peaceful protest to stop destructive oil drilling in the Arctic. ...

Don’t believe the hype – hooliganism is hardly better than piracy

Blog entry by Jess Wilson | October 23, 2013

Earlier this evening Russian authorities offered the Arctic 30 — currently being held in a freezing jail in Murmansk — what looked like a legal olive branch by dropping piracy charges and replacing them with ones of "hooliganism." ...

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