|Focuses on matters concerning the Arctic from the perspective of indigenous organizations|
|Tries to mobilize Dutch and European politicians in its efforts to support indigenous peoples in Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions, and to enhance the protection of the Arctic environment and the sustainable development of the Arctic.|
|Tries to inform the Dutch public on issues concerning indigenous peoples and the environment in the Arctic, including the Dutch connection to the issues.|
Geese from Spitsbergen and Siberia winter in the Netherlands. The nuclear power plants Cap La Hague and Sellafield pollute the Arctic Ocean. At Thule in Greenland a U.S. B-52 bomber crashed in 1968. Nuclear tests were performed on Nova Zembla. It is unsafe to bake and eat a pie of the delightful cloudberries (Rubus Chamaemorus). The geigercounter detector will tick too fast.
As one of very few countries, The Netherlands is observer at a
number of Arctic organizations like the:
Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC)
Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS)
Conservation Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
The Dutch have had a long lasting historic relationship to the Arctic. March 1998, during the Willem Barents Memorial Arctic Conservation Symposium in Moscow, the Dutch and Russian governments signed a declaration concerning a.o. nature protection, rights for indigenous peoples and support for NGOs in both countries. In this respect the declaration mentions 'the recent establishment of a Dutch NGO on Arctic issues', referring to Arctic Peoples Alert. The symposium was co-organized by the Dutch Embassy in Moscow and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries/Programme International Nature Management (PIN). In this context and in the context of the Convention on Bio-diversity and the African-Eurasian Migratory (Waterbird) Agreement the Ministry department International Nature Management supports a number of nature protection projects in the Russian Federation. These nature protection projects bring them in close contact with the local indigenous peoples. In November 1998, the Dutch government announced that it is willing to assist the Russian Federation in its efforts to clean up the polluted Barents region with $ 3 million.
The Dutch government pays attention to the position of indigenous
peoples also in a much broader sense. It produced an important
policy paper entitled: 'Indigenous peoples in Foreign Policy and
Development Cooperation'; the parliament ratified ILO-treaty 169
concerning indigenous peoples, and signed the 1992 Rio
Currently it is the United Nations 1994-2004 Decade of the indigenous peoples, and one of the most actual events for 1999, is the celebration of 20 years of Homerule in Greenland.
We want to inform the Dutch public about what is going on in the Arctic and what role the Dutch could play. But especially, we want to inform the Dutch public about the situation of the indigenous peoples in the Arctic. We can not do that alone. For that we seek co-operation as we have always done.
We are publishing in Dutch a bulletin Arctica at least three times a year.
We will organize a symposium 'Arctic Day' once a year about the situation of the indigenous peoples in the Arctic, with the involvement of the peoples themselves.