Program Coordination and Aboriginal Partnerships

Coordination and Administration of the Northern Contaminants Program

Project leader:

Sarah Kalhok Bourque, Northern Science and Contaminants Research Directorate, Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Gatineau
Tel: (819) 934-1107; Fax: (819) 934-1390; Email: Sarah.Kalhok@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca

Project team:

Northern Contaminants Program Management Committee; Northern Contaminants Program Secretariat; Four Northern Aboriginal Partner Organizations; Regional Contaminants Committees; Arctic Institute of North America, coordinators of ASTIS Database

Duration: ongoing

** Projects such as Facilitation of Long range Atmospheric transport of contaminants, Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling Network, Polar Data Catalogue, and Publications Database were previously included in this project on the NCP website but are now listed as separate projects.



Project Summary (2016-2017)

The secretariat function for the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) is carried out by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The NCP Secretariat provides the administrative, financial, and logistical support and coordination required to deliver the NCP. This includes developing and implementing strategic and operational plans for the NCP under the direction of the NCP Management Committee. This year, 2016‐2017, marks the 25th anniversary of the Northern Contaminants Program. Highlights for 2016‐2017 will include: managing the funding and reporting requirements for current funding recipients; coordinating the 2017/18 Call for Proposals, including blueprint revisions and comprehensive review process; planning and delivering opportunities to highlight the NCP’s 25th anniversary; organizing and delivering a Risk Communications and Biomonitoring Workshop; developing and publishing the annual Synopsis of Research, CACAR III Highlights report, the first publication under CACAR IV (Human Health), and summaries of core monitoring topics (2); further refinements and regular updates to the NCP website and other communications; facilitating significant updates to the NCP Operational Management GuideGuidelines for Responsible Research, and annual updates to the NCP Strategic Plan; finalizing and implementing the first NCP Data Management Policy; and implementing actions arising from the spring and fall NCP Management Committee meetings.


Synopsis (2015-2016)

Abstract

The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) engages Northerners and scientists in researching and monitoring of long-range contaminants in the Canadian Arctic, and in making use of the data generated to: 1) assess ecosystem and human health in order to address the safety and security of traditional country foods that are important to the health and traditional lifestyles of northern communities; and 2) inform policy, resulting in action to eliminate contaminants from long-range sources. The NCP Secretariat, within Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, provides the administrative, financial, and logistical support and coordination required to deliver the NCP within Canada, and facilitates Canada’s action internationally with respect to initiatives and regulations related to the long-range transport of contaminants into the Arctic. Highlights for 2015-2016 included: 1) funding decisions from the April 2015 Management Committee meeting resulted in funding for 56 projects under a total of 27 Contribution agreements (including amendments), 5 Interdepartmental Letters of Agreement, and transfers to 5 regions; 2) the 21st NCP Results Workshop took place at the Westin Bayshore hotel in Vancouver, BC on December 7&8, 2015 in advance of the ArcticNet Annual Science meeting; 3) the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report III – Contaminants in Canada’s North: Summary for Policy Makers, was distributed early in 2015-2016, beginning with distribution to NCPMC members at the April meeting, and is also available online through the NCP website and NCP Publications Database; 4) the POP Review Committee recommended that Deca-BDE be added to Annex A of the Stockholm Convention, and advanced the evaluation of SCCPs and PFOA; and 5) information on NCP mercury monitoring and research was contributed to the Canadian National inventory that was submitted to UNEP Minamata Convention for presentation at the seventh Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee meeting that was held March 10-15 in Jordan.

Key Messages

  • The NCP Secretariat provides the administrative, financial, and logistical support and coordination required to deliver the NCP.
  • The NCP facilitates international cooperation to identify the significance of long-range contaminant sources and their transport pathways and potential impacts on the environment and human health, and assists with the implementation and development of appropriate international controls on emissions and discharges of contaminants of significance to Canadian northern populations.
  • The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a legally-binding agreement to cut emissions and releases of mercury to the environment, was signed by Canada in October 2013 and as of July 2016, includes 128 signatory nations and 28 ratifications. Through use of its data, information and expertise, the NCP made important contributions towards this historic signing. The Convention will enter into force 90 days after 50 countries have ratified the treaty. Canada is presently working to be in a position to ratify and implement the treaty.
  • The 7th Conference of the Party (COP) of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) took place 4 – 8 May, 2015. Three more chemicals were agreed to be added to the Annex A of elimination at the meeting: pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its salts and esters, polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs: di, tri, tetra, penta, hexa, hepta, octa), and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD).
  • NCP continues as Canada’s main contributor on contaminant issues to the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). In February 2016, AMAP released its 2015 Assessment on Human Health in the Arctic, which is available for download from the AMAP website (www.AMAP.no). The Human Health assessment was co-led by Shawn Donaldson of Health Canada, and was supported by NCP-funded scientists and Indigenous partners who functioned as chapter leads and contributing authors.

 


Synopsis (2014-2015)

Abstract

The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) engages Northerners and scientists in researching and monitoring of long-range contaminants in the Canadian Arctic, and in making use of the data generated to: 1) assess ecosystem and human health in order to address the safety and security of traditional country foods that are important to the health and traditional lifestyles of northern communities; and 2) inform policy, resulting inaction to eliminate contaminants from long-range sources. The NCP Secretariat, within Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, provides the administrative, financial, and logistical support and coordination required to deliver the NCP within Canada, and facilitates Canada’s action internationally with respect to initiatives and regulations related to the long-range transport of contaminants into the Arctic. Highlights for 2014-2015included: (i) the release ofContaminants in Canada’s North: Summary for Policy-Makers, summarizing the key findings from the recent Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Reports III; (ii) significant contributions by NCP scientists and the NCP Secretariat to the circumpolar Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Working Group, as coauthors and co-chairs of scientific expert groups working on updates to circumpolar assessment reports, and as Canada’s Head of Delegation and Vice-Chair to AMAP, during the final year of Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2013-2015); (iii) implementation of new management processes, including new protocols and guidelines for mid-year project reporting and funding requests; and (iv) partnership further developed with the Canadian High Arctic Research Station(CHARS) [now Polar Knowledge Canada],through CHARS representation as an Observer on the NCP Management Committee, and NCP representation on the CHARS Science& Technology Advisory Committee; and(v) participation by several researchers and NCP partners in the International Arctic Change Conference in Ottawa, December8-12, 2014, including in the special session on contaminants.

Key messages

  • The NCP Secretariat provides the administrative, financial, and logistical support and coordination required to deliver the NCP
  • The NCP facilitates international cooperation to identify the significance of long-range contaminant sources and their transport pathways and potential impacts on the environment and human health, and assists with the implementation and development of appropriate international controls on emissions and discharges of contaminants of significance to Canadian northern populations.
  • The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a legally-binding agreement to cut emissions and releases of mercury to the environment, was signed by Canada in October 2013and now includes 128 signatory nations and 12 ratifications, in an international effort to reduce global mercury pollution and protect the environment and human health. Through use of its data, information and expertise, the NCP made important contributions towards this historic signing. The Convention will enter into force 90days after 50 countries have ratified the treaty (Canada has not yet ratified). In the meantime, preparations for the entry into force are ongoing.
  • The 7th Conference of the Party (COP) of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) took place 4 – 8 May, 2015. Three more chemicals were agreed to be added to the Annex A of elimination at the meeting: pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its salts and esters, polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs: di, tri, tetra, penta, hexa, hepta, octa), and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD)
  • The Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report (CACAR) III – Contaminants in Canada’s North: Summary for Policy Makers, released in April 2015, summarizes the integrated highlights and main findings from the NCP’s three most recent assessment reports(on POPS [2013], mercury [2012], and health [2009]). A related and more detailed Highlights Report, with additional region specific information, will be released in2015.
  • NCP continues as Canada’s main contributor on contaminant issues to the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), with updates being undertaken on circumpolar POPs and human health assessments during Canada’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2013-2015). The Chair of the NCP Management Committee continues to hold the position of Canadian Head of Delegation to AMAP and Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada continues to represent Inuit as a Permanent Participant on the AMAP Working Group.

 


Synopsis (2013-2014)

Abstract

The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) engages Northerners and scientists in researching and monitoring of long-range contaminants in the Canadian Arctic, and in making use of the data generated to: 1) assess ecosystem and human health in order to address the safety and security of traditional country foods that are important to the health and traditional lifestyles of northern communities; and 2) inform policy, resulting in action to eliminate contaminants from long-range sources. The NCP Secretariat, within Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, provides the administrative, financial, and logistical support and coordination required to deliver the NCP within Canada, and facilitates Canada’s action internationally with respect to initiatives and regulations related to the long-range transport of contaminants into the Arctic. Highlights for 2013-2014 included: (i) the signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in October 2013, for which NCP data, information and expertise played a critical role for Canada and the Arctic Council to take a leadership role towards taking actions to control global sources of atmospheric mercury emissions; (ii) the release of the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report III (CACAR III) report on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Canada’s North, the first assessment to focus exclusively on persistent organic pollutants in the Canadian Arctic; (iii) the 20thanniversary NCP Results Workshop, held in Ottawa in September 2013, which attracted some 200 participants to mark this special anniversary for Canada’s longest standing northern monitoring and research program; and (iv) significant contributions by NCP scientists and the NCP Secretariat to the circumpolar Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Working Group, as co-authors and co-chairs of scientific expert groups working on updates to circumpolar assessment reports, and as Canada’s Head of Delegation and Vice-Chair to AMAP, during Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2013-2015).

Key Messages

  • The NCP Secretariat provides the administrative, financial, and logistical support and coordination required to deliver the NCP
  • The NCP facilitates international cooperation to identify the significance of long-range contaminant sources and their transport pathways and potential impacts on the environment and human health, and assists with the implementation and development of appropriate international controls on emissions and discharges of contaminants of significance to Canadian northern populations.
  • The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a legally-binding agreement to cut emissions and releases of mercury to the environment, was signed by Canada in October 2013 and now includes 100 signatory nations, in an international effort to reduce global mercury pollution and protect the environment and human health. Through use of its data, information and expertise, the NCP made important contributions towards this historic signing.
  • The CACAR III – Persistent Organic Pollutants in Canada’s North, released in December 2013, reports the results of monitoring and research activities conducted under the NCP, synthesizes the latest science, and evaluates our current understanding of POPs in the Canadian Arctic. The report demonstrates that international action on POPs is working to reduce pollution in the Arctic and improve the health of Northerners; however, some new chemicals that are not covered by international agreements are being detected in the Arctic environment at increasing concentration and require further study.
  • The NCP’s milestone 20th anniversary Results Workshop provided a venue to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of the NCP since its inception in 1991 and prepare for its future directions. This included summarizing scientific findings to date, celebrating partnerships that have been developed, and noting the ways in which NCP data and partners have galvanized action on the issue of contaminants in Canada’s North.
  • NCP continues as Canada’s main contributor on contaminant issues to the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, with updates being undertaken on circumpolar POPs and human health assessments.

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Council of Yukon First Nations Activities in Support of the Northern Contaminants Program

Project leader:

Bob Van Dijken, Director of Circumpolar Relations, Council of Yukon First Nations, Whitehorse
Tel: (867) 393-9237/9200; Fax: (867) 668-6577; Email: bob.vandijken@cyfn.net

Project team:

Yukon Contaminants Committee; Yukon First Nations

Duration: ongoing


Project Summary (2016-2017)

The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) was established in 1991 in response to concerns about human exposure to elevated levels of contaminants in fish and wildlife species that make up the traditional diets of northern Indigenous peoples. Under NCP Phase I, research was conducted to determine the levels, geographic extent, and source of contaminants that were entering the North. Results from NCP I were published in the 1997 Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report (CACAR). NCP II began in 1998 and focused on the impacts and risks to human health that may result from current levels of contamination in key Arctic food species. The current focus of the program is to address high priority areas, such as communities where people are being exposed to contaminant levels of concern to health authorities. Although the Yukon Territory is not a high priority area, the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) continues to provide input and participate as a member of the national management committee and the Yukon Contaminant Committee (YCC), as well as monitor the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme. NCP objectives, structures, strategies, and research are communicated back to all Yukon communities, including CYFN members and the leadership board, where appropriate.

 


Synopsis (2015-2016)

Abstract

Over the past year the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) has continued to be active as a member of the NCP management committee as well as responding to requests for information, participating in regional contaminants committee activity, informing Yukon First Nations about the annual call for proposals, maintaining and updating the Yukon NCP website and working with NCP researchers active in the Yukon.

Key Messages:

  • Levels of contaminants are generally low in the Yukon.
  • We need to continue monitoring as new contaminants are being released into the atmosphere and water which may cause problems in the future.
  • The effects of climate change on contaminant mobility and loading needs to be tracked.
  • The work of the Northern Contaminants Program continues to be relevant at the local, regional, national and international level.

 


Synopsis (2014-2015)

Abstract

Over the past year the Council of Yukon First Nations has continued to be active as a member of the NCP Management Committee as well as responding to requests for information, participating in regional contaminants committee activity, informing Yukon First Nations about the annual call for proposals, maintaining and updating the Yukon NCP website and working with NCP researchers active in the Yukon. 

Key Messages:

  • Our traditional foods in the Yukon are safe to eat.
  • Levels of contaminants in traditional foods are generally low in the Yukon.
  • We need to continue monitoring for contaminants, as new chemicals are being released into the atmosphere and water, which may cause problems in the future.  

 


Synopsis (2013-2014)

Abstract

Over the past year the Council of Yukon First Nations has continued to be active as a member of the NCP Management Committee as well as responding to requests for information, participating in regional contaminants committee activity, informing Yukon First Nations about the annual call for proposals, maintaining and updating the Yukon NCP website and working with NCP researchers active in the Yukon.

Key Messages

  • Our traditional foods in the Yukon are safe to eat.
  • Levels of contaminants in traditional foods are generally low in the Yukon.
  • We need to continue monitoring for contaminants, as new chemicals are being released into the atmosphere and water, which may cause problems in the future.

 

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Dene Nation Participation in Management Committee and Northwest Territories Environmental Contaminants Committee

Project Leader:

Rolland Pangowish, Director, Lands and Environment, Dene National/AFN Regional (NWT) Office, Yellowknife
Tel: (867) 873-4081, x.34; Fax: (867) 920-2254; Email: lands@denenation.com

Project Team:

Bill Erasmus, Dene National Chief/AFN Regional Chief NWT; Coordinator Lands and Environment, Dene National/AFN Regional Office; NCP Management Committee and Northwest Territories Regional Contaminants Committee

Duration: ongoing


Project Summary (2016-2017)

This project supports the Dene Nation as an active Aboriginal partner in the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) through participation in the national and regional coordination of the NCP. The Dene Nation provides advice to the NCP and is the liaison to NCP activities for our membership. Up to twenty years of NCP-sponsored research has provided northern Indigenous peoples information on long-range contaminants and their pathways and effects in northern Canada. The Dene Nation communicates NCP program objectives and research back to all Denendeh communities and leadership. The Dene Nation also intends to look into increasing its capacity to serve its membership on contamination issues. These issues include impacts on the food security of the Dene Peoples and improving the use of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the assessment of such impacts with input from the Elders Committee, traditional hunters, and other related research. International activities on contaminants primarily consist of speaking engagements by staff and the Dene National Chief through the Arctic Athabaskan Council, a vehicle well suited to address international issues at the circumpolar level (i.e. Arctic Council). 

 


Synopsis (2015-2016)

Abstract

In the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year the Dene Nation received funding from the Northern Contaminants Program to support its participation in the NCP Management Committee and on the NWT Regional Contaminants Committee (NWTRCC). As a national organization representing First Nations Peoples, the Dene Nation assists Canada in reviewing proposals for research under the Northern Contaminants Program, participating in the social-cultural review that assesses the extent to which research projects are relevant to Indigenous communities and are executed in a respectful and culturally appropriate manner. During the review process Dene Nation makes recommendations to help ensure that research projects are addressing the major concerns of Dene communities, that researchers include traditional knowledge where appropriate and that results are shared with communities. The Dene Nation has been an active Aboriginal Partner in the Northern Contaminants Program, participating in the national and regional coordination of the NCP since its inception. The Dene Nation hosts one Dene National Assembly and two leadership meetings a year, where reports on NCP activity are provided presented to the membership and included in the Dene Nation Annual Report.

Key Messages

  • Participation on NCP Management Committee
  • Participation on NWT Regional Contaminants Committee
  • Provide advice to NCP on contaminant issues in the communities
  • Liaison on NCP activities within the Dene Nation Membership 

 


Synopsis (2014-2015)

Abstract

In the 2014-2015 fiscal year Dene Nation received National and Regional Coordination funding from the Northern Contaminants Program. This funding has allowed Dene Nation to participate on the Program's Management Committee and on the NWT Regional Contaminants Committee (NWTRCC) to help the program meet its goals. The Northern Contaminants Program's key objective is to work towards reducing and eliminating contaminants in traditional country foods, while providing information to assist individuals and communities in making informed decisions about food choices. As a national organization representing First Nations peoples, the Dene Nation is appropriate for reviewing proposals for research under the Northern Contaminants Program to ensure the research is relevant to the Dene, and proceeds in a respectful and culturally appropriate manner. During the review process Dene Nation also makes recommendations to ensure the most appropriate available resources and support systems in Dene communities are utilized, and that the goals of capacity building and incorporation of traditional knowledge are adequately addressed by researchers. In addition to participation in Management Committee and NWTRCC meetings, the NCP funding has allowed Dene Nation to participate in conference calls, email communications, other meetings, and follow-up work to ensure staff is up-to-date on the Program and other issues related to long-range contaminants in the Arctic. Dene Nation has been an active aboriginal partner in the Northern Contaminants Program, participating in the national and regional coordination of the NCP. A portion of NCP funding is established to enable aboriginal partners to participate in National Management Committee and territorial contaminant committee activities. Dene Nation acts as liaison to provide advice to the NCP on contaminant issues in the communities. Dene Nations hosts one Dene National Assembly and two leadership meetings a year within Denendeh, where NCP activity reports are presented to leaders & members of the Dene Nation with our involvement in NCP.

Key messages:

  • Participation on NCP Management Committee
  • Participation on NWT Regional Contaminants Committee
  • Provide advice to NCP on contaminant issues of the communities
  • Liaison of NCP activities within Dene Nation Membership

 


Synopsis (2013-2014)

Abstract

In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Dene Nation received funding from the Northern Contaminants Program to build Aboriginal Partner Capacity within Denendeh (Northwest Territories). This funding has allowed Dene Nation to participate on the Program’s Management Committee and on the NWT Regional Contaminants Committee (NWTRCC) to help the program meet its goals.

As a national organization representing First Nations people, Dene Nation is suited to reviewing proposals for research under the NCP to ensure that research is relevant to the Dene, and that it proceeds in a respectful and culturally-appropriate manner. During the review process Dene Nation makes recommendations to ensure the most appropriate available resources and support systems in Dene communities are utilized, and that the goals of capacity building and incorporation of Traditional Knowledge are adequately addressed by researchers.

Dene Nation is an active Aboriginal partner in the NCP. Dene Nation acts as liaison to provide advice to the NCP on contaminant issues in Dene communities. Dene Nation hosts one Dene National Assembly and two leadership meetings per year within Denendeh, at which NCP activity reports are presented to leaders and members of the Dene Nation.

Key Messages

  • Dene Nation participates on the NCP Management Committee and Northwest Territories Environmental Contaminants Committee.
  • Dene Nation provides advice to NCP on contaminant issues of the Dene communities.

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Inuit Circumpolar Council – Canada Activities in Support of Circumpolar and Global Contaminant Instruments and Activities

Project leader

Tom Sheldon, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada

Project team

Duane Smith, Selma Ford and Stephanie Meakin, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada

Duration: ongoing


Project Summary (2016-2017)

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization representing circumpolar Inuit, and Canadian Inuit internationally. Among ICC’s principle goals are the promotion of Inuit rights and interests on an international level and the development and encouragement of long-term policies that safeguard the Arctic environment. Inuit have been greatly impacted by long-range transported contaminants, which bioaccumulate in the Arctic ecosystem and have led to very high concentrations in some Inuit populations, with potential impacts on their health and well-being. ICC Canada’s contaminant-related work on the national, circumpolar, and international stage includes the involvement in contaminant research and representation of Inuit viewpoints and interests nationally (e.g. at the Northern Contaminants Program), in the circumpolar Arctic (e.g. Arctic Council working groups), and internationally (i.e. within United Nations Environment Program, e.g. the Stockholm Convention, the POPs Review Committee, and the Minamata Convention on Mercury).  ICC Canada’s objective is to ensure that scientific (i.e. in this case, particularly contaminant-related) research in the Arctic is addressing Inuit needs and is done with proper Inuit support and involvement.

 


Synopsis (2015-2016)

Abstract

This report outlines ICC Canada’s activities funded by Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) in the fiscal year of 2015/2016. ICC Canada is working nationally and internationally to address the issue of contaminants in the Arctic. National activities include support to the NCP in the Management Committee, blueprint and proposal reviews, and input into the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment III (CACAR III) for the Highlights, and Policy maker summary reports, as well as leading Chapter 4 of the CACAR-IV Human Health report. Internationally, ICC Canada continued its activities related to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Work on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is ongoing, with ICC Canada attending the 11thPOP Review Committee (POPRC) in October 2015. ICC Canada continued to support Arctic Council activities, in particular within the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), such as co-leading Chapter 6 on Risk Communication for the AMAP Assessment 2015: Human Health in the Arctic. ICC Canada was very active on the Sustaining the Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) Board, the SAON Executive Committee, and continues leading the SAON task on community-based monitoring. ICC Canada also co-chaired the Third Arctic Observing Summit (AOS), which took place March 16 – 18 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Key Messages

  • ICC Canada worked actively to support NCP by working on the Management Committee, Environmental Monitoring and Community Based Monitoring technical review committees, the CACAR III Highlights report and the summary for policy makers, and led Chapter 4 (on Chemical management, risk management, and contaminant communication) for CACAR IV (Human Health).
  • ICC Canada attended the 11thPersistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) meeting, provided input in POPRC working group documents and informed the NCP about POPRC work.
  • ICC Canada actively contributed to Arctic Council related work, attended the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Working Group and Heads of Delegation meetings, SAON meetings, and teleconferences of the SAON Executive Committee.
  • ICC Canada was very active in the AMAP Human Health Assessment Group (HHAG) and co-lead Chapter 6 on Risk Communication for the AMAP Assessment 2015: Human Health in the Arctic.
  • Work on mercury isotopes in ice cores and snow samples to identify mercury pathways and sources to the Arctic continued, a publication (Historical variations of mercury stable isotope ratios in arctic glacier firn and ice cores, Zdanowicz et al.) was submitted March 2016 to the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles.
  • ICC Canada co-chaired the Third Arctic Observing Summit, which took place March 16 – 18, 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

 


Synopsis (2014-2015)

Abstract

This report outlines ICC Canada’s activities funded by Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) in the fiscal year of 2014-2015. ICC Canada is working nationally and internationally to address the issue of contaminants in the Arctic. National activities include support to the NCP in the Management Committee, blueprint and proposal reviews, the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment III Highlights Report as well as the summary for policy makers. Internationally, ICC Canada continued its activities related to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Work on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is ongoing, with ICC Canada attending the 10thPOP Review Committee (POPRC) in October 2014. ICC Canada continued to support Arctic Council activities, such as attending meetings of and organizing webinars for the Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) Integration Team and participating in the Taskforce on Scientific Cooperation. ICC Canada was very active on the Sustaining the Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) Board, the SAON Executive Committee, and continues leading the SAON task on community-based monitoring. ICC Canada has further been leading the chapter on risk communication for the upcoming AMAP Health Assessment. Communication events included the General Assembly (GA) in Inuvik, July 21stto 24th, 2014 and the Arctic Change conference December 8 – 12, 2014 in Ottawa.

Key Messages

  • ICC Canada worked actively to support NCP by working on the Management Committee, Environmental Monitoring and Community-Based Monitoring technical review committees, the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report III Highlights report and the summary for policy makers.
  • ICC Canada attended the 10th POP Review Committee (POPRC) meeting, provided input in POPRC working group documents and informed the NCP about POPRC work.
  • ICC Canada actively contributed to Arctic Council related work, attended the AMAP WG and Head of Delegation meetings, AACA Integration team meetings and webinars, Taskforce on Scientific Cooperation meetings (in Helsinki and Reykavik) and conference calls, SAON meetings, and teleconferences of the SAON Executive Committee.
  • ICC participates in NCP, ArcticNet and now CHARS at the management levels and brings a level of coordination and information sharing among the circumpolar Inuit engagement to these fora.
  • ICC Canada was very active in the AMAP Human Health Assessment Group (HHAG) and led the development of a chapter on risk communication for the upcoming AMAP Health Assessment.
  • Work on mercury isotopes in ice cores and snow samples to identify mercury pathways and sources to the Arctic is continuing, data is being analyzed and prepared for a publication, which should be submitted in summer 2015.
  • ICC had its quadrennial General Assembly (GA) in Inuvik, July 21st to 24th, 2014. At the General Assembly circumpolar Inuit leadership determines ICC’s direction for the next four years, which is outlined in the Kitigaaryuit Declaration. The GA was attended by several hundred people, which included Inuit representatives from the circumpolar Arctic as well as many international guests from governments, academia, industry and civil society.

 


Synopsis (2013-2014)

Abstract

This report outlines ICC Canada’s activities funded by Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) in the fiscal year of 2013-2014. ICC Canada is working nationally and internationally to address the issue of contaminants in the Arctic. National activities include support to the NCP in the Management Committee, reviews of program blueprints and proposals, Results Workshop participation, and work on contributions for the Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Highlights Report III. Internationally, ICC Canada continued its activities related to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Work on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is ongoing, with ICC Canada attending the 9th POP Review Committee (POPRC) in October 2013. ICC Canada continued to support Arctic Council activities, such as attending meetings and organizing webinars for the Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA) Integration Team. ICC Canada continues to be very active on the Sustaining the Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) Board, the SAON Executive Committee, and continues leading the SAON task on community-based monitoring. ICC Canada is leading the chapter on risk communication for the upcoming AMAP Health Assessment, and gave a poster and platform presentation on its health-related activities during the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway.

Key Messages

  • ICC Canada worked actively to support NCP by working on the Management Committee, Environmental Monitoring and Research Subcommittee, and the CACAR III reports.
  • ICC Canada assisted in the organization of the NCP Results Workshop (September 2013) and presented an Inuit Partnership Award to the NCP.
  • ICC Canada attended the 9th POP Review Committee meeting and provided input in POPRC working group documents.
  • ICC Canada actively contributed to Arctic Council related work, attended the AMAP Working Group meeting, AACA Integration team meetings, SAON Board meetings, and teleconferences of the SAON Executive Committee.

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Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami National Coordination

Project leader

Eric Loring, Senior Environment Researcher and Policy Advisor, Department of Environment and Wildlife, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Tel: (613) 238-8181 ext. 234; Email: loring@itk.ca

Project team

John Cheechoo, Dr. Scot Nickels, Anna Fowler, and Natan Obed, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Inuit Circumpolar Council-Canada; Nunavut Environment Contaminants Committee; NWT Regional Contaminants Committee; Nunatsiavut Government Research and Advisory Committee; Nunavik Nutrition and Health Committee

Duration: ongoing


Project Summary (2016-2017)

The Department of Environment and Wildlife within Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) will provide enhanced leadership and advocacy on a national level in regard to environment and wildlife research issues affecting Inuit Nunangat. ITK will assess information and research generated by the NCP in order to play an informed role in influencing present and future NCP management priorities, and to set national and international priorities. The involvement of ITK helps ensure that Inuit voices from the community and regions are heard and incorporated into NCP and other related Arctic research programs.  ITK will help advocate and communicate Inuit needs and interests into NCP research and ensure that research communication generated from the program is done with an Inuit lens and with Inuit involvement. When possible ITK will also work towards furthering NCP research to incorporate and utilize Inuit knowledge both at the research stage and in the policy-making process. Participation in the NCP helps ITK contextualize research information back to Inuit regions and communities. This year, efforts will be made to focus communication on wildlife boards in the regions as part of ITK’s new restructuring. Working with its partners, ITK will serve to foster knowledge exchange and capacity, improve knowledge for Arctic research, and support knowledge development in key NCP policy areas.

 


Synopsis (2015-2016)

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) in 1991, Inuit Tapiriit of Kanatami (ITK) has participated in the program as managing partners. This partnership continues to be fruitful and effective both for Canadian Inuit and the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP). As the national political voice for Canadian Inuit, ITK continues to play multiple roles within the NCP. First, ITK provides guidance and direction to INAC and the other NCP partner's (HC, DFO, ECCC, etc.) ‑ bringing Inuit interests to the NCP management and liaison committees of which we are a member. As a result, the NCP can better respond to the needs and concerns of Inuit. Secondly, ITK is dedicated to facilitating appropriate and timely communications about contaminants in the North. Thirdly, ITK are working with their Inuit partners at the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC)-Canada on the international stage to persuade nations to reduce their generation and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and Heavy Metals (Mercury) that end-up in the Inuit diet. Lastly, ITK is now working with other research programs like ArcticNet, Polar Knowledge Canada, Health Canada climate change program and the Chemicals Management Plan to make sure that research on contaminants is conducted in a coordinated approach. This is done mainly through the regional contaminants committees in each of the four Inuit regions of which ITK helps assist and guide. ITK involvement in Northwest Territories Regional Contaminants Committee, Nunavut Environmental Contaminants Committee, Nunavik Nutrition and Health Committee, and Nunatsiavut Government Research Advisory Committee contaminant committees is critical in order to deliver a consistent message to Inuit regarding the NCP and contaminants.

Key messages

  • Provide a voice for the Inuit of Canada during NCP discussions
  • To continue to be an active and constructive member of the NCP Management Structure ensuring that contaminants issues and NCP research and results are communicated to Inuit and that Inuit are represented at key regional, circumpolar and international meetings and initiatives.
  • To contextualize contaminant information in a broader communication process using the Inuit Knowledge Centre
  • Enhance the confidence of Inuit in their ability to make informed decisions about Country food use.
  • Coordinate Contaminants activities in Nasivvik, ArcticNet, and HC Climate Change Program

 


Synopsis (2014-2015)

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) in 1991, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) has participated in the program as a managing partner. This partnership continues to be fruitful and effective both for Canadian Inuit and to the Northern Contaminants Program.  As the national political voice for Canadian Inuit, ITK continues to play multiple roles within the NCP.  First, ITK provides guidance and direction to the NCP and its partners, bringing Inuit interests to the NCP management and regional committees of which we are a member.  As a result, the NCP can better respond to the needs and concerns of Inuit.

Secondly, ITK is dedicated to facilitating appropriate, timely communications about contaminants in the North. Thirdly, ITK is working with its Inuit partners at the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC)-Canada at the international level to persuade nations to reduce the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals (e.g., mercury) that end up in the Inuit diet.

Lastly, ITK works with other research programs like ArcticNet, the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments, Health Canada Climate Change and Adaptation Program and the Chemicals Management Plan to make sure that research on contaminants is conducted in a coordinated approach. This is done mainly through ITK’s participation on the regional contaminants committee in each of the four Inuit regions. ITK involvement in these regional contaminant committees is critical in order to deliver a consistent message to Inuit regarding the NCP and contaminants. 

Key messages

  • Provide a voice for Inuit of Canada during NCP discussions
  • To continue to be an active and constructive member of the NCP management structure ensuring that contaminants issue and NCP research and results are communicated to Inuit and that Inuit are represented at key regional, circumpolar and international meetings and initiatives.
  • To contextualize contaminant information in a broader communication process using the Inuit Knowledge Centre
  • Develop the confidence for Inuit in making informed decisions about Country food use.
  • Coordinate Contaminants activities in Nasivvik, ArcticNet, Health Canada Climate Change Program

 


Synopsis (2013-2014)

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) in 1991, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) has participated in the program as a managing partner. This partnership continues to be fruitful and effective both for Canadian Inuit and to the Northern Contaminants Program. As the national political voice for Canadian Inuit, ITK continues to play multiple roles within the NCP. First, ITK provides guidance and direction to the NCP and its partners, bringing Inuit interests to the NCP management and regional committees of which we are a member. As a result, the NCP can better respond to the needs and concerns of Inuit.

Secondly, ITK is dedicated to facilitating appropriate, timely communications about contaminants in the North. Thirdly, ITK is working with its Inuit partners at the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC)-Canada at the international level to persuade nations to reduce the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals (e.g., mercury) that end up in the Inuit diet.

Lastly, ITK works with other research programs like ArcticNet, the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments, Health Canada Climate Change and Adaptation Program and the Chemicals Management Plan to make sure that research on contaminants is conducted in a coordinated approach.This is done mainly through ITK’s participation on the regional contaminants committee in each of the four Inuit regions.ITK involvement in these regional contaminant committees is critical in order to deliver a consistent message to Inuit regarding the NCP and contaminants.

Key messages

  • ITK provides a voice for the Inuit of Canada during NCP discussions.
  • ITK continues to be an active and constructive member of the NCP, ensuring that contaminants issues and NCP research are communicated to Inuit, and that Inuit are represented at key regional, circumpolar and international meetings and initiatives.
  • ITK contextualizes contaminant information in a broader communication process using the Inuit Knowledge Centre.

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Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling (GAPS) Network in support of Global Monitoring Plan (Effectiveness Evaluation) of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

Project leader:

Tom Harner, Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto
Tel: (416) 739-4837; Email: tom.harner@ec.gc.ca

Project team:

Dr Cassandra Rauert, visiting fellow; Mr. Ky Su, lab technician; Ms. Anita Eng, engineering and lab support staff

Project Duration: 2011-2017

**This project was previously reported under the “Facilitation of international action related to the long-range transport of contaminants into the Arctic” project.



Project Summary (2016-2017)

The Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling (GAPS) Network is in its 9th sampling year and is the only global-scale program that contributes information on air concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to the Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) of the Stockholm Convention (SC) on POPs. In 2016-2017, efforts under GAPS will focus on the analysis and reporting of results for Flame retardant compounds.  We will also complete data analysis and reporting for special GAPS study samples collected in 2011 and 2013 that used sorbent-impregnated polyurethane foam (PUF) disks to capture new and more volatile priority chemicals (e.g. siloxanes; fluorinated chemicals, penta- and hexachlorobenzene) to assess global trends. Results from the GAPS network Arctic sites will be integrated with an NCP-funded passive monitoring program for POPs led by Dr. Hayley Hung.

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Facilitation of International Action Related to the Long-range Transport of Contaminants into the Arctic and Canadian support for implementing the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme

Project leaders:

Sarah Kalhok, Northern Science and Contaminants Research, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Tel: (819) 934-1107; Fax: (819) 934-1390; E-mail: Sarah.Kalhok@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca


Jason Stow, Northern Science and Contaminants Research, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Email: Jason.stow@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca


Lars-Otto Reiersen, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme Secretariat

Simon Wilson, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme Secretariat


Project team:

Eva Kruemmel, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada; Tom Harner, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Georgina Lloyd, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Duration: ongoing

**This project was previously described on the NCP website as a portion of the Coordination and Administration of the Northern Contaminants Program


Project Summary (2016-2017)

Since the majority of contaminants found in the Arctic environment originate from countries other than Canada, the issue must be dealt with on an international scale.  For this reason, the Northern Contaminants Program and its partners engage in international activities aimed at regulating contaminants that are subject to long-range transport.  These efforts have already led to several international agreements, including the global Stockholm Convention on POPs (2004) and the Minamata Convention on Mercury (2013).  The NCP’s primary contribution to these agreements has been the provision of scientific data, information and expertise on contaminants in Canada’s North and communication about the impacts they are having on Northerners and wildlife. The NCP also represents Canada’s primary contribution to the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), which is a highly respected source of circumpolar scientific assessments related to the Arctic environment. Through AMAP, NCP data and information are put into a circumpolar context and used to inform policy decisions taken by the influential Arctic Council.

With global agreements now in place to control POPs and mercury, the NCP and its partners must now focus on ensuring these agreements are effectively implemented.  The NCP is working closely with its partners to ensure that NCP results and expertise are used to evaluate the effectiveness of global regulation at reducing Arctic pollution, and to help evaluate chemicals of emerging concern for potential inclusion in the Stockholm Convention. Both the Stockholm Convention on POPs and Minamata Convention on Mercury recognize the Arctic as an important indicator of global long-range pollution, and consider data and information from the Arctic to be critical for assessing the impacts of global pollutants. The NCP, with its long history of contaminants monitoring and research in the Arctic is a major contributor of this information.

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Support to the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network/Polar Data Catalogue

Project leaders

Dr. Ellsworth LeDrew, F.IEEE, F.CRSS, Executive Director, Canadian Cryospheric Information Network/Polar Data Catalogue, University Professor, University of Waterloo
Tel: (519) 888-4567 ext.32783; Email: ells@uwaterloo.ca

Julie E. Friddell, Ph.D., Associate Director, Canadian Cryospheric Information Network/Polar Data Catalogue
Tel: (519) 888-4567 ext. 32689; Email: julie.friddell@uwaterloo.ca

Duration: ongoing

Northern regions: N/A

**This project was previously reported under the “Coordination and Administration of the Northern Contaminants Program” project.


Project Summary (2016-2017)

The Canadian Cryospheric Information Network/Polar Data Catalogue (CCIN/PDC) acts as the metadata repository for NCP-funded projects.  The following activities are proposed for the 2016-2017 fiscal year: update the inventory of NCP metadata and datasets, increase availability of NCP metadata and information, and promote effective NCP data management through development of policy and best practices.

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Northern Contaminants Interlaboratory Quality Assurance Program

Project leaders:

Eric J. Reiner, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Etobicoke
Tel:(416) 235-5748; Email:Eric.Reiner@ontario.ca

Pat Falletta, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Ed Sverko, Environment and Climate Change Canada, National Water Research Institute, Burlington
Tel: (905) 336‐4432867 ; Email: Ed.Sverko@canada.ca

Project team:

Anne Myers, Rita Dawood, Debbie Dipchand, Moustapha Oke, Marivie Cepeda, Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC); members of QA/QC sub‐committee; all analytical laboratories participating in the NCP

Duration: ongoing

**This project was previously reported under the “Coordination and Administration of the Northern Contaminants Program” project.


Project Summary (2016-2017)

This project involves the performance evaluation of analytical laboratories providing data to the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) and Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). This project will assess the data variability through interlaboratory studies on legacy as well as emerging organic chemicals and heavy metals using standards and certified reference materials. Valuable information will be provided to the NCP science managers and northern residents to compare data between different laboratories and to make informed decisions regarding the sources of contaminants and their effects on the Arctic environment and on human health. This information will also ensure that scientifically sound data is contributed by NCP and AMAP to international agreements and controls to protect the health of the Arctic ecosystem and northerners. Specifically, this project will ensure that contaminant data produced by the laboratories meets the data quality objectives set by the management committees and that participating laboratories will be able to assess and improve their performance.

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NCP Publications Database

Project leader:

Shannon Vossepoel, Manager, Data and Information Services, Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, Calgary
Tel: (408) 220-4033; Fax: (403) 282-4609; Email: shannonv@ucalgary.ca

Duration: ongoing

**This project was previously reported under the “Coordination and Administration of the Northern Contaminants Program” project.


Project Summary (2016-2017)

The Arctic Science and Technology Information System (ASTIS) provides a web link to the NCP website that allows people to search for NCP publications. Work during 2016‐2017 will emphasize adding PDF documents provided by the Northern Contaminants Program to the Arctic Institute of North America’s online repository; continuing adding profile searches for NCP researchers to link their publications to the NCP website; and abstracting and indexing of additional publications for the NCP Publications Database. The Database currently describes approximately 3500 publications.

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