Office for information and cooperation in the Arctic

The German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research serves as an information and cooperation platform for German stakeholders invested in Arctic science, politics and industry. It enhances the visibility of Germany‘s engagement in the Arctic on a national and international level.

The German Arctic Office serves as a central point of contact for political and scientific bodies, NGO‘s and German industry; advises the Federal Government on Arctic issues through statements and briefings based on the most current state of research, and; fosters Germany‘s participation in the Arctic Council‘s scientific activities.

The German Arctic Office initiates and organizes national Arctic meetings and events in cooperation with partners from science, politics and industry, and; supports the federal government in the representation of German Arctic research and policy at international conferences.

The German Arctic Office informs German stakeholders from science, politics and industry with consitent information from the global Arctic research community, and; provides scientific organizations with background information on current policy relevant developments in the Arctic Region.

The Arctic as a venue for peace and cooperation

During the last three decades, the Arctic has developed into an exceptional venue for peace and cooperation. Due to the current geopolitical situation these achievements are at risk. This paper by Volker Rachold reviews the development of international scientific and political cooperation in the Arctic and highlights the numerous success stories.

15 June 2022, Berlin

This year, the German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute is celebrating its 5th anniversary. On this occasion, all partners of the office were invited to a festive event onboard a seminar ship on the Spree River in Berlin.


15 June 2022, Helmholtz Office, Berlin                                                                                              The 19th Arctic Dialogue was held at the Helmholtz Office in Berlin on 15 June 2022. The central theme of the meeting was on the role of the Arctic from the point of view of the new German government. After 2 years of Covid-caused online meetings, the 19th Arctic Dialogue could be organized as a face-to-face meeting.

In 2021, the European Union published a revised Arctic Policy under the title „A stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic“. The Fact Sheet “EU Engagement in the Arctic” describes the background and development of the EU interests in the Arctic and provides a summary of the new Arctic Policy. It underlines the importance of EU funding for Arctic research.

8 December 2021, online meeting

The 18th Arctic Dialogue was held on 8 December 2021 as a virtual meeting. The focus of the meeting, which was jointly organized with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), was on collaboration with indigenous partners.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest continuous inland ice mass in the northern hemisphere, with an area of around 1.7 million sqkm and a thickness of up to 3000 m. What role does the Greenland ice sheet play in the climate system? How fast does the ice move and change, what is the role of the atmosphere and the interaction with the ocean? These are questions addressed within the national collaborative project GROCE (Greenland Ice Sheet Ocean Interaction) which has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 2017.

The publication about the ways of life Indigenous Peoples lead in the Arctic is the result of a collaborative project between the Saami Council and the German Arctic Office. It describes how Arctic Indigenous Peoples use Indigenous Knowledge as a generationally refined way of knowing to ensure the vivid development of cultures and livelihoods and how Indigenous Peoples have traditionally developed circular governance systems that sustainably care for the environment instead of dominating it.

The MARE:N White Paper „Polarregionen im Wandel” (The Changing Polar Regions) was presented on 20 May 2021 and handed over to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The paper was developed by an expert committee on behalf of the BMBF and presents recommendations for future priorities of polar and marine research in 15 forward looking chapters.

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20 May 2021, Reykjavik

At the Arctic Council Ministerial on 20 May 2021, the Icelandic Chairmanship presented its achievements and handed the baton over to the Russian Federation, chairing the Council for the next two years. Germany has observer status on the Arctic Council and Foreign Minister Maas presented a video message.

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