Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 388

388 Arctic Yearbook 2015 At the 9th AC Ministerial meeting (again in Iqaluit) in April 2015 the following language was included in the Ministerial Declaration: Acknowledge that the work of the Arctic Council continues to evolve to respond to new opportunities and challenges in the Arctic, reaffirm existing mechanisms and commit to identifying new approaches to support the active participation of Permanent Participants, and welcome the work done by Permanent Participants to establish a funding mechanism to strengthen their capacity. During the Ministerial meeting the PPs also held a side event with AC observers to outline the plan for the two PP support funds in addition to a discussion of the role that Observers might play in the support of the PP organizations. Given that the criteria for Observer status in the AC calls for a political willingness and financial capacity to support the work of the PPs in the AC, it seems clear that part of the solution to PP support and capacity may fall with the Observers. As the AC moves on to the U.S. Chairmanship, the work on PP capacity and support continues. WWF has again expressed its willingness to not only contribute to a PP core fund, but also to support the work needed to establish such a fund legally, and so an RFP to experts in this area has been produced, and at the time of the writing of this article is about to be distributed. In addition, at least one other Observer has made a verbal commitment to contribute to the fund once established, so it seems like there is at least a possibility that the fund could become a reality and assist in improving PP capacity. It also seems clear that the Arctic member states of the AC are unlikely to support the PPs through such a funding mechanism, instead preferring to continue the direct relationship with their constituent PPs that has existed since earliest days of the AC. The Arctic Council Permanent Participants