Boundaries of the Arctic Council Working Groups

When defining Arctic regions, it is understood that no single, clear cut boundary exists to delineate their extent. Rather, this boundary will change with its application: environmental, biological, economic, jurisdictional, or social. For example the Arctic Council working groups have different definitions that reflect each of their interests. The Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program (AMAP), which predates the Arctic Council, created its ‘AMAP area’ as the territory where it would carry out environmental monitoring under the Environmental Protection Strategy. AMAP has defined a regional extent based on a compromise among various definitions. The ‘AMAP area’ essentially includes the terrestrial and marine areas north of the Arctic Circle (66°32’N), and north of 62°N in Asia and 60°N in North America, modified to include the marine areas north of the Aleutian chain, Hudson Bay, and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean including the Labrador Sea, excluding the Baltic Sea.

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