Highlighted activities,
                publications and research
            at the science-policy interface

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.

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.

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 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.

31 May 2021, online meeting

The 17th Arctic Dialogue was held on 31 May 2021 as a virtual meeting. The main focus was on short reports of the institutions participating in the dialogue forum.

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.

8-9 May 2021, Tokyo

Following the first Arctic Science Ministerial in Washington 2016 and the second conference in Berlin 2018, the Third Arctic Science Ministerial was held in Tokyo in May 2021 as a hybrid meeting, organized jointly by Japan and Iceland. The most important outcome is a Joint Statement of Ministers, guiding the future international cooperation in Arctic research.

28 April 2021, Online

Once per year, the Federal Foreign Office and the German Arctic Office are jointly organizing a meeting with the German experts in the Working Groups and Expert Groups of the Arctic Council. The last meeting was held on 28 April 2021.

April 2021, Potsdam

Tourism in the Arctic and Antarctic has increased noticeably, especially in the last two decades. Our new Fact Sheet provides answers to the questions: how is tourism in the Arctic and Antarctic regulated, what makes the polar regions attractive as tourist destinations, what types of tourism are there in the Arctic and Antarctic and what are the impacts of polar tourism.

24 November 2020, Online

The Arctic Office and the Federal Foreign Office have jointly organized a virtual workshop with EU Ambassador Michael Mann, focusing on the process, aims and priorities of the new EU Arctic Strategy. The objectives of the workshop were to initiate an exchange with Michael Mann and to provide input to the EU Arctic Strategy from a German perspective.

23 November 2020, Online

The Arctic Office of the AWI and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) jointly organized a virtual seminar on 23 November 2020. The directors of the two institutes, Prof. Antje Boetius and Prof. Johan Rockström, presented keynote lectures on “Global Impacts of a Warming Arctic” and answered questions from the audience.

23 November 2020, Online

The 16th Arctic Dialogue was jointly organized by the Arctic Office and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as a virtual meeting on 23 November 2020. The focus of the meeting was on Arctic research activities of AWI and PIK which were highlighted in two presentations: Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf (PIK) presented a research update addressing global impacts of Arctic climate change. Prof. Markus Rex provided a summary of the AWI coordinated MOSAiC Expedition which recently returned to Germany after one full year in the Arctic. 

November 2020, Potsdam

The Arctic island group Svalbard is a climate hotspot and an important centre for international and German polar research. Not least the 100th anniversary of the Svalbard Treaty, which regulates Norwegian sovereignty and the protection and use rights over the archipelago, and the many years of research by the Alfred Wegener Institute together with the French polar research institute IPEV in Ny-Ålesund are the reason for the present fact sheet.

August 2020, Potsdam

What is the geopolitical framework of the polar regions? Which socio-economic aspects are important in the polar regions and why is the Arctic warming faster than the Antarctic? These and other questions are addressed in our new Fact Sheet that was jointly prepared with AWI´s Climate Office.

15 June 2020, Online

The German Arctic Office at the Alfred Wegener Institute invited for the 15th Arctic Dialogue on the 15 June 2020.

32 participants joint the meeting to discuss measures to implement the German and EU Arctic guidelines as well as contributions from German polar and marine research as part of MARE:N to the most pressing social challenges in the Arctic.

May 2020, Potsdam

Who owns the Arctic? What role does Germany play in the Arctic? These and more questions will be answered in the new fact sheet of the German Arctic Office. Here you will get an overview about the legal system in the arctic region and the governance structures. 

February 2020, Potsdam

The workshop “Raising awareness and building capacity for science-based policy-making” in October 2019 aimed to provide training to early career researchers in science-policy communication. A workshop report is now available - answering the questions "How to define and reach your audience?", "How to translate your message?" and "How to design science to address stakeholder‘s/societal needs?".

15 January 2020, Potsdam

This session was focused on the communication of scientific findings to policy-makers and the dialogue between scientists and policy-makers that is required to identify policy needs and policy-relevant questions. The session was opened with a keynote presentation, followed by a panel discussion including scientists and policy-makers from Germany and the UK.