Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response

The Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group is mandated to contribute to the prevention, preparedness and response to environmental and other emergencies, accidents and search and rescue (SAR). While not an operational response organization, EPPR conducts projects to address gaps, prepare strategies, share information, collect data, and collaborate with relevant partners on capabilities and research needs that exist in the Arctic.

Quick Facts

Primary Focus:
Contributing to the prevention, preparedness and response to environmental and other emergencies, accidents and to search and rescue

Establishment:
1991

Chairmanship:
Kingdom of Denmark

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The Arctic is an environmentally sensitive area with an extreme climate characterized by low temperatures, winter-time darkness, snow, ice and permafrost. Harsh conditions and the sparse and limited amount of infrastructure in much of the Arctic increase risks and impacts and hinder response activities. Actions for prevention, preparedness and response must be carefully pre-planned and adapted to the conditions and remoteness of the Arctic to maximize the use of available resources. Accordingly, international cooperation in this area is of vital importance.

EPPR meets twice a year to discuss priorities and projects identified in the work plan. EPPR Chairmanship rotates between the Arctic States every two years.

2019-2021 Work Plan Snapshot

EPPR implements and develops project proposals within its mandate for approval as Arctic Council projects, recognizing the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples and all Arctic inhabitants.

Expert Groups

Three Expert Groups are active and working to develop practical actions to improve preparedness and response to environmental and other emergencies:

Main tasks

  • Developing guidance and risk assessment methodologies
  • Exchanging information and best practices regarding prevention, preparedness and response to accidents and threats from unintentional releases of pollutants and radionuclides, and to natural disasters
  • Coordinating response exercises and training
  • Maintaining the operational guidelines for two of the legally binding agreements negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council, agreements on Search and Rescue (SAR) and Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response (MOSPA).
Jens Peter Holst-Andersen
Jens Peter Holst-Andersen
Chair

Kathy Nghiem

Vice-chair

Ole Kristian Bjerkemo

EPPR Vice-Chair
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Nina Ågren

Acting Executive Secretary
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@EPPR_Arctic

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EPPR News

Arctic Council logo

Put into reality: EPPR looks into the VIKING SKY incident

At its first Working Group meeting during the Icelandic Chairmanship, the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group held a workshop on the VIKI...
22 Aug 2019
Burnt trees in Alaska. Photo: iStock / A&J Photos

Wildfires don’t respect territorial boundary lines

The Arctic is experiencing its worst wildfire season on record, affecting the environment and communities in the circumpolar North and beyond.
07 Aug 2019

Interview with EPPR Chair Peter Holst-Andersen

"I think we are getting better at rescuing people and protecting the environment through the work we are doing in EPPR."
27 Jun 2019
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Calendar

May
June
24 Jun-25 Jun 2020
SAO Executive Meeting (TBC) Akureyri, Iceland
October
01 Oct-02 Oct 2020
SAO Marine Mechanism (SMM) meeting (TBC) Reykjavik, Iceland
28 Oct 2020
SAO Executive Meeting (TBC) Egilsstaðir, Iceland
29 Oct-30 Oct 2020
SAO Plenary Meeting (TBC) Egilsstaðir, Iceland
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Latest EPPR publications

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Featured EPPR projects

International Standards for Petroleum, Offshore Oil and Maritime Industries
The purpose of this project is to describe how necessary engineering and technical standards are identified, developed, established and maintained, and to describe the work done by various internation...
Overview
Circumpolar Oil Spill Response Viability Analysis (CORSVA)
The COSRVA is intended to provide more science-based decision-making in Arctic oil spill response contingency planning. An additional benefit of the study is the identification of components or method...
Project pageOverview
Prevention, Preparedness and Response for small communities
EPPR has been working with small communities to improve their safety in case of an oil spill event.
Overview
Boat in ice. Photo: iStock
Risk Assessment methods and metadata
A common approach to marine risk assessment in the Arctic region.
Overview