Co-chairs: Sarah Kalhok Bourque (Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs)
Jennifer Provencher (Environment and Climate Change Canada)
Concern about microplastics and litter in the environment has been raised at global (CBD, UNEP, etc.) and regional (Arctic Council Ministerial, EU, Nordic Council) level. To date studies have reported plastic pollution in sediments, seawater, sea-ice and biota in the Arctic. Despite the significant increase in available data on microplastic pollution and litter debris globally, including the Arctic, status reports lack standardization in methodology and reporting consistency. This session will bring together experts on studying plastic pollution in the Arctic environment. Presentations will focus on methods for sampling plastic pollution in the Arctic, community based monitoring programs, waste management programs and initiatives to aimed at reducing plastic pollution, modelling efforts underway to identify species and locations at high risk to plastic pollution, and international harmonized sampling protocols that are being developed for the Arctic region via the Arctic Council's Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program with a special emphasis on Canada's Northern Contaminants Program.