Acting Executive Director of the Northern Forum Daryana Maximova participated in the plenary session of SDWG virtual meeting, held on June 8-9 2020.

Northern Forum has Observer status in the Arctic Council since 1996.


The virtual meeting of the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) hosted more than 90 participants. The online format of the event is introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-day meeting incorporated remote presenters and plenary discussions held on June 8-9 2020.

The Sustainable Development Working Group promotes self-sufficient, resilient, and healthy Arctic communities. Their thematic areas include human health, economic and social development, climate change adaptation, the well-being of Arctic communities, management of natural resources, and Arctic cultures and languages. In 2020, Iceland took over the chairmanship of the SDWG.


The active engagement of the 6 Permanent Participants is one of the key features of the Arctic Council and the SDWG that have developed good practices for a dynamic involvement of Indigenous Peoples and their communities. At the virtual meeting chaired by Iceland, attendees present their project proposals and endorse status reports on the on-going projects.

As the current pandemic evolves, the focus on the health effects of the coronavirus widens within the SDWG. In the months and years after the pandemic, a holistic approach to mental health and suicide prevention, infrastructure and connectivity as well as food security in the Arctic will, therefore, become a priority for the SDWG and Arctic communities.